Written by: Christina Vestey
Just when we thought the world could not get any crazier, 2022 feels like the year where uncertainty is our daily narrative. The world feels heavy with one crisis after another, and if you’re on social media, it’s impossible to escape its impact. The sort of impact I am talking about is emotional impact. Studies show that if you read, listen, or watch three minutes of negative news first thing in the morning, you have a 27% chance of feeling like you have had a bad day by that same evening. It’s not new for us to hear people having a social media detox, but what about a news detox.
We want to be informed global citizens, but often information can leave us feeling overwhelmed and powerless. We think there is little impact we can have on the outcome of what’s happening. The reality is that it’s not just our moods being affected, but it’s having a longer-term impact on our mental health.
I don’t know about you, but sometimes it feels like we have to unlearn something every day just to keep ourselves sane. It’s exhausting. So, I am not going to go on about the why’s and why not’s of our media inputs but rather give some simple suggestions for changes that we can make to satisfy our interest in what’s going on in the world around us whilst protecting, and nourishing our minds. I do have one piece of advice – switch off all news notifications and stop reading the news headlines in the morning when you wake up. A weekly roundup of news is sufficient to keep abreast of all that’s happening. The weekend newspapers are usually pretty good for this. Listening to a podcast that does a weekly summary of the news or a radio programme covering the same are ways to get the depth of information you need.
If you feel like you need some sort of input to kickstart your day, there are some uplifting and inspirational podcasts you can listen to. I have to say I am a fan of Oprah Winfrey’s Super Soul Sunday and am a regular listener. Ted Talks Daily is very cool for insights and solutions to the challenges of the world we live in. Stuff You Should Know touches on the things we often question but know little about. Brene Brown and Michelle Obama are two women whose podcasts can touch on subjects so close to the heart, yet somehow, they are always comforting. I like The Blinkist for its short informative interviews from various podcasts. For a more contemplative start to the day, Insight Timer has brilliant meditations. Black Girl Om is an excellent source for a bit of self-care. Finally, if it’s motivation you need, DNA of a Maker shares interviews with women making an impact on the world and what drives them to reach their goals.
Navigating the world is a daily challenge, and it’s hard to see that something like the news could impact our wellbeing. We are flooded with so much information daily that it’s impossible to know what’s doing harm and what’s holding us in the balance. Nevertheless, it’s always good to take a step back, reflect and reconnect with a fresh perspective, and I hope some of the above can help you do just that.