Set Boundaries for Yourself
When it comes to television, radio, and the internet, you determine what type of information you ingest. This information can affect your thoughts, your mood, and your behavior. The stories of violence won’t stop, so you must. If you know you are already depressed, anxious, or trying to manage symptoms of posttraumatic stress, disengage from the news. Turn off the tv, don’t click on that website, and please, take a Facebook break.
Why Do We Prefer Bad News?
Despite the mental and emotional toll that consuming copious amounts of negative news takes on us, we gravitate towards bad news. ‘Negativity bias’ is the term psychologists use to describe “our collective hunger to hear, and remember bad news.” Read more about this here: "Psychology: Why bad news dominates the headlines".
Even news stories that aren’t necessarily negative or violent - hello, Jelena - can negatively impact you, distracting you from your work, increasing your anxiety & self-criticism, or hindering your creativity. Take a minute to read this: "News is bad for you - and giving up reading it will make you happier".
When You Are Depressed, Self-Care is Paramount
Yes, it is important to be aware of what is happening in the world. Yes, changes do need to be made, to prevent another mass shooting. This is not about remaining oblivious. This is about self-preservation and self-care, especially when you are in the throes of depression or anxiety.
You have the right to take care of yourself, to draw parameters around the content you will and will not allow yourself to absorb. Step away from the tv, your laptop, and your phone. Take a walk, sit and breathe, or write down those things and people for which you are grateful.
If you aren't ready to step away from your screen, at least take a few minutes to watch this uplifting piece: