“What Do I Do When News Makes Me Stressed?”

Stop Doom­scrolling For Your Men­tal Health

You wake up in the morn­ing to read about news from around the world. It makes you sad and stressed, and yet you can’t seem to stop read­ing. Before you know it, 30 min­utes have passed and you feel awful.

If this sounds like you, you may have a habit of doom­scrolling.”

Stress is a part of life, but when you find that cer­tain habits — like read­ing or watch­ing the news — are mak­ing the stress in your life worse, it might be time for a change. While get­ting dis­tract­ed by bad news is pret­ty easy these days, it’s not impos­si­ble to adopt strate­gies that pro­tect your men­tal health instead.

Set time lim­its for your news exposure. 

Just like you might set a time lim­it on how long a child can watch TV, prac­tice set­ting bound­aries with your­self when it comes to expo­sure of news or social media.

Try lim­it­ing your news con­sump­tion to 30 min­utes a day, or uti­lize the tools on your phone to set a screen lim­it. If you find your­self con­stant­ly going back to social media on your work break, try going for a walk or call­ing a friend instead.

Oth­er strate­gies to help you pre­serve your men­tal health while also stay­ing informed about what’s going on in the world around you include:

  • Read­ing more than just the head­lines. Head­lines are designed to get your atten­tion and an emo­tion­al response. Read­ing the full arti­cle can pro­vide con­text, and you may find the news is actu­al­ly much less stress­ful than the head­line suggests.

  • Mon­i­tor your news sources. Just like good food helps you main­tain a healthy diet, rep­utable news sources help you main­tain a healthy news diet, too. Watch out for news that can be designed to make you reactive.

  • Get involved. It can be stress­ful to see issues in your com­mu­ni­ty, and it’s easy to feel help­less. There are many pos­i­tive ways you can donate your time, tal­ent, or mon­ey to sup­port the caus­es you read and care about.

While it might be tempt­ing to read or watch as much news as you can to stay informed, this can quick­ly lead to burnout and stress or even depres­sion and anxiety. 

Ask for help — even when it’s hard.

If read­ing the news is stress­ing you out, you might think it’s all on you to destress. This thought, and oth­er com­mon myths about men­tal health ther­a­py, keep many peo­ple from ask­ing for help when they need it. 

Duly Health and Care pro­vides a range of men­tal and behav­ioral health sup­port to help you feel your best. If you are feel­ing anx­ious or depressed, get­ting sup­port is as easy as con­tact­ing your pri­ma­ry care provider.

Your Duly provider can:

  • Help you talk through your emo­tions, feel­ings, and behav­iors and how they impact your day-to-day life

  • Share cop­ing strate­gies for man­ag­ing feel­ings of anx­i­ety, depres­sion, or stress

  • Con­nect you with addi­tion­al resources or refer­rals to address your unique needs and goals 

You don’t have to man­age your men­tal health all by your­self. If you want to feel your best and devel­op health strate­gies that make life eas­i­er, reach out to your Duly pri­ma­ry care provider today.

Prac­tice shift­ing into a more pos­i­tive mindset.

While hav­ing cof­fee with a friend, have you found your­self talk­ing about world events? Sud­den­ly, your hap­py hang­out has turned into a spi­ral of gloom.

Cre­at­ing space to talk about chal­leng­ing top­ics is impor­tant, and it can be a good way to feel like you aren’t the only one see­ing them. But it can also lead you and your friend to have an unhealthy rela­tion­ship when focus­ing on neg­a­tive feelings.

While you might not have con­trol over all of the bad things hap­pen­ing in the world, you do have con­trol over a con­ver­sa­tion like this. Some­times, pro­tect­ing your men­tal health — and build­ing pos­i­tive cop­ing skills — is as easy as say­ing, I think we’re focus­ing too much on the bad news. Would it be okay to talk about some­thing more positive?” 

One way to shift into a more mind­ful place is with con­ver­sa­tion starters that focus on the neg­a­tive, pos­i­tive, and the upcom­ing. With this, you ask every­one to come up with one exam­ple for each of these ques­tions:

  • What’s one thing that’s been chal­leng­ing you lately?

  • What’s some­thing excit­ing or good that’s hap­pened to you recently? 

  • What’s one thing that you’re excit­ed about?

This kind of mind­ful reflec­tion can be done on your own, with a friend, or with a group. When you find your­self get­ting too deep into cur­rent events, a shift in mind­set might be just what you need.

Take a step back and look to the future. 

Just by read­ing these strate­gies, you’ve tak­en an impor­tant step toward break­ing the habit of doom­scrolling and mak­ing health­i­er news-read­ing habits. 

These might seem like small changes, but they can have a big impact on your men­tal health. By being more inten­tion­al about how you use social media and how you get your news, you can build a bet­ter out­look and devel­op cop­ing skills you can car­ry through­out your whole life.

  • If you are on this page, you are probably looking for information; beginning the process of deciding to reach out for help. Whether you find yourself overwhelmed with worries or anxiety, surrounded by the darkness of depression, lost in time stopping grief, or facing marital or other life crises, starting your search begins your healing. I am a Licensed Clinical Psychologist and I have been in practice since 1999. I provide a safe, empathetic, and non-judgmental space where you are welcome to discuss concerns, resolve conflicts and uncover your strengths. My theoretical orientation is client centered and rooted in humanistic theory. My eclectic treatment approach is built upon the foundation of the therapeutic relationship. Hearing and meeting the needs of clients and incorporating evidence-based treatments.