How to Deal with News Overload

In this generation, we have become accustomed to having excessive amounts of news and information constantly being thrown at us. This is unquestionably due to the fact that we have grown up surrounded by technology and have access to this information 24/7. As I am getting older, I am beginning to see the effects that this information overload has on my mental health and overall well-being. I really began to acknowledge the stress presented by the excess of information during the beginning stages of the pandemic last year. With more time to spend following the news and current events, I began to watch myself spiral into a ball of anxiety, determined to stay up to date on what was happening in the world around me. As I expressed my anxieties to my friends, I noticed I was not alone in this feeling of being overwhelmed. Staying informed is most definitely important, but it is also crucial to find a balance between having knowledge of current events and taking care of your mental health. That being said, here are a few things I have added to my routine to help cope with the excess of information in today’s world. 

  1. 1. Meditation 

    I’m sure you have heard this one a lot, but I cannot stress how much meditation has helped me become grounded again. Throughout high school, I was an avid believer in meditation and yoga, but I fell off my routine as I started getting busier in college. During the midst of the pandemic, I began to meditate everyday again. I begin my day with a three-minute meditation and a simple yoga flow before I touch my phone. This allows for me to “check-in” with where I am at each morning. I then can go through my day feeling more grounded. When I begin to wind down for bed each night, I take another 30 minutes to sit with my thoughts and journal as a form of nightly meditation. I find this has helped with avoiding over-thinking while trying to fall asleep. 

  2. 2. Journaling

    Journaling has always served an importance in my life. Growing up, my mom has always stressed the importance of writing down your feelings, thoughts and emotions. Journaling can look different for anyone. Personally, being a more artistically driven individual, I like incorporating artistic aspects to my journal style. Sometimes, this means painting or drawing over my writings, while other times, I like to add small mementos and make it more of a “living journal.” Regardless of your personal style, journaling has been proven to be super important in providing relief to the mind. Incorporating this in your daily routine will be helpful in tracking your metal health and noticing where you need to focus your energy to better yourself. 

  3. 3. Knowing when to put down your phone

    This is without question the most important habit to acquire. Since the time we were born, we have constantly been surrounded by devastating news, making a whole generation arguably numb to unfortunate scenarios. It is more important than ever to recognize the point to which we have gained enough information to be knowledgeable on a topic before it becomes detrimental to our mental health. For me personally, I have begun limiting my phone use. I allow myself to check credible news sources in the mornings as I am getting ready, but after my morning news scroll, I try my best to avoid the news for the rest of the day. Instead, I often will research new topics and current events to inform myself at my own pace. I find that taking the information at my own rate helps from getting too overwhelmed. 

At the end of the day, we are currently making history for all that we are going through as a society, so do whatever feel right for you personally to take care of yourself. We often can feel alone, but it is important to know there are so many people who also feel overwhelmed due to current events and pressures.