Dealing with negative news coverage
Stay informed but not afraid
It’s been a tough few years and you may feel exhausted by everything that’s been happening in the world. It’s important to protect your mental health if you’re feeling overwhelmed by bad news.
It’s ok to feel overwhelmed
Don’t feel bad if you’re stressed out by the news cycle. If you need to take a time-out, do so.
Take a moment to let your mind rest. You could:
- Shut the world out and listen to some music
- Go for a walk
- Try some mindful breathing exercises
Having information at your fingertips can make you feel in control and reduce your fear of the unknown. But the sheer volume of negative and frightening news cycles can unnerve you.
Set up some boundaries if you find you are fixating on bad news and this is damaging your mental health.
- Learn to identify which stories are fact, which are opinion and which are fake news
- Restrict your news intake to one or two sources a day
- Remember that the bad news you hear may not affect you – make sure the sources you use are relevant to where you live
- Mute or delete news apps and notifications if you have a lot of these set up and they make you feel stressed
Don’t wake up to bad news
It’s not a great idea to read the news first thing in the morning or last thing at night.
Your body has more cortisol, or stress hormones, in the morning. This is why you might feel more stressed or anxious when you first wake up. Reading bad news stories then will make you feel worse.
Scrolling through news stories before bed won’t help you fall asleep. You need time to wind down and relax if you want a good night’s sleep.
Take action to reduce your anxiety
Share how you’re feeling. Writing your feelings down or saying them out load can take a load off your shoulders.
Endorphins reduce pain, relieve stress and improve your wellbeing. Gentle exercise, relaxation and being with family or friends can boost these hormones.
Don’t hesitate to ask a professional
Always remember that there’s no need to suffer alone. Speaking with your GP is a good place to start.
- Call Lifeline on 0808 808 8000 and speak to a counsellor immediately if you’re feeling distressed
- Inspire’s Advocacy for All can support you with mental health advice and information
- Find services and support
- FactCheckNI checks certain claims you may hear in the media to see if these are true
- Full Fact is another useful fact checking website
- This article explains how to turn off notifications on your phone apps