First of all, I want to validate that it is OKAY to want to disconnect from the news.
The desire to stay connected and fully aware of everything that’s transpiring in the news is a very understandable impulse.
Most of us want to feel informed and engaged these days but/and it’s very important that, along with having an awareness of what’s unfolding in the news, it’s even more important that you have awareness of what your personal capacity for this is.
Maybe you’ve got some major workplace stressors going on, or a sick child, or a failing relationship and you just don’t have the emotional or mental bandwidth for news consumption. That’s okay!
Only you can judge how much you can or want to consume news right now given the context of your individual life.
So if you’ve decided that you need or want a break from the news altogether or you want to scale back your consumption, here are some tips on how to do this.
- Remove news and social push alerts from your phone. Instead of getting a notification each time a headline breaks (and that seems like every hour these days), you can check the news once a day or twice a day instead. Or not check it at all if that’s what you prefer. – Sign up for a news digest instead of checking the headlines yourself. Have it delivered once a day to your inbox. One I really like is the Guardian’s daily email digest which I can choose to read or not read depending on how I feel each day.
- Set some boundaries with those you live with. If your spouse/partner/roommate/commute buddy is a morning or evening radio/TV news consumer and you just don’t feel up for it, have a conversation about boundaries around this so you don’t have to be as exposed. Maybe they could listen to it in a different room or after they drop you off at work, for instance.
- Adjust your social media feed. Consider removing or “unfollowing” news sources that may be pushing stories to the top of your feed. You can always re-follow them later, but if you need a break now, curate your social media feed to do so.
At the end of the day, only we can know what we need to take care of ourselves.
And what we may need may look different from what our spouse, best friends, and colleagues need. So please, if you feel the need to disconnect from the news right now, give yourself permission to do this.