Avoiding the News

I used to roll my eyes at people who avoided the news. I saw it as a kind of “head in the sand” mentality. Refusing to accept facts. Living in a dream world.

Frankly, I was a bit of a tool about it.

Over the last decade, I came to realise that to function effectively, sometimes you have to set firm boundaries on the input you’re allowing into your life.

Over the past year, I realised that a constant stream of alarming information can sadly unbalance even the most positive of outlooks.

Over the last six months, I’ve learned that sometimes you have to put down any devices, step away from social media, and just breathe and be with the people or places or things that bring you happiness or peace.

I’m not advocating for ignorance. But it’s healthy to set boundaries and limit the gush of horror pouring out of the screen directly into your brain. It’s okay to say, “that’s enough now.”

Some days I’m just sick of feeling angry or scared or anxious. I don’t have a choice about the latter thanks to my mental health, but controlling the causes of the the former two helps manage it somewhat .

I’ve always felt it was vital to stay informed. To fact check and cross reference and be sure of what was real and what was propaganda. To gently point out when others were sharing old articles or actual falsehoods (usually without realising it themselves). I’m still dedicated to accuracy of information, but not to discovering it at the cost of mental health. When I realised it was regularly well after midnight and I was still trawling through figures, graphs, R numbers, facts about going back to school safely (of which there are very few actual facts indeed) with my mind buzzing like an angry hive, I knew it was time to take a break.

Don’t feel guilty if you have to take a break too.

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