Managing Media Intake and Mental Health

Reading the news can be helpful and it can be toxic. Thanks to Missouri Partners in Prevention for the privilege of providing a few quick tips to help protect our mental health while reading the news. See the preview below or link to the full article here.

While the news is always a somewhat tricky thing to navigate, there are currently some particularly difficult stories. With regard to ongoing concerns, the emergence of new COVID-19 variants is creating uncomfortable unknowns. And, more acutely, the Ghislaine Maxwell and Duggar trials along with the escalating humanitarian crisis in Afghanistan can serve as triggers for our pain points, trauma, and mental well-being.

What’s interesting about the media is that it is important to know what is going on in our world. Foreign crises may be just as much in our interest as virus concerns on our home soil. But, with everything and everywhere there is to read, how are we supposed to manage our mental health and the day-to-day limited human capacity for engagement? Here are some suggestions.

Suggestions for Managing Media Intake & Mental Health

  1. Remember that media is a business. While we continue to hope for a world of unbiased journalism, it is still the job of news companies to make money. Whoever can create the most eye-catching (or anxiety-raising) headline is more likely to get the clicks and reads that generate the revenue. Keep the intent of headlines in mind when you are scrolling, it can help keep your perspective and anxiety in check if something sounds especially alarming. It may or may not be.
  2. Know what topics may activate trauma for you. We mentioned the Ghislaine Maxwell and Duggar trials specifically because they are tied to manipulation and sexual abuse. If these topics are a trigger for you, don’t read them. Everyone has difficult pieces of their story that can be activated by headlines and/or sound bites. There is no reason to be fully informed on situations that may inhibit your healing journey.

For two more tips and the full post see Partners in Prevention here.

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