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It is Okay to Take Breaks from Reading the News

There’s no doubt that a lot is going on in the world currently. As a result, there’s a lot of news being delivered. I know personally for me, it can feel overwhelming and even scary to read it all and then attempt to digest and process it. I sometimes find myself feeling helpless especially when the news is sad. I wish I could do something to help, and then I find myself feeling overwhelmed by the feeling that I have not done anything, or contributed to making positive change by helping people that are affected directly by the news reports. This is not a new feeling for me, though. It’s been happening for the past two years, pretty much ever since the first time I could vote in 2020. I just wanted to know the basic issues, so I started to tune into the news for the first time, and ever since it’s been a whirlwind. This is NOT a political article in any way. I’m not taking a side or calling anyone out. I write this because I know how overwhelmed I can get sometimes, and I feel strongly that I am not the only one who feels this way.

It’s so important to care about current events. I absolutely care about the news and the events that happen in it. However, I also need to recognize– and quite frankly– we all need to recognize that we have limits. This does not just apply to news intake, but to everything. We have personal limits and we have to respect them. Respecting our personal limits is a form of self-care in my opinion. This is something I am trying to remind myself of. I tend to push my limits when trying to get informed because there are so many sources providing so much information and I want to know all the details. My first instinct is to look anywhere and everywhere. It becomes overwhelming very quickly. Something I’m sure everyone can benefit from when it comes to reading the news, especially if it’s heartbreaking, is to take the necessary breaks. It might be a small ten-minute break in between reading articles, two hours, or a week. All of these are ok. It does not make you a bad person. It does not mean you do not care. It also does not mean you can’t do anything to help or get involved. It just means that you are going at your own speed and processing in your own way and that is very much ok. Be kind to yourself while learning about current events. It can be very stressful, and that is when we have to be honest with ourselves and know what will be too much.

Lastly, I want to make one more point. It is 100% ok if you never read the news because that is best for you. It is also ok if you read it every day, or several times a day. This article is not one to tell you to read or engage with the news or not. It’s simply a reminder that while so many things are happening, it’s ok to take breaks from taking in all of the information. With phones these days, it’s almost impossible to not know what current events, good or bad, are happening, and I simply want to say that I personally get overwhelmed by it sometimes, and it’s ok if you do too. I think feeling overwhelmed by it’s natural. It’s a lot, so if you take anything from this, please let it be a reminder that you can take breaks and do what is best for you. You matter. Take care of yourself.

Mary James

Gettysburg '23

Gettysburg College '23 WGS Major Education and English Minor Coffee Connoisseur