Text Size

Practice Self Care: Manage Media Overload and Negative News

News reports can easily make us feel overwhelmed, anxious, or fearful, and actively practicing self-care when watching the news is crucial. One of the best ways to care for your mental and emotional health during the aftermath of a crisis is by limiting media intake and choosing to rely on accurate, factual, unbiased resources to provide information and updates. 

Tips for Avoiding Media Overload

Make wise choices in limiting the media and caring for your whole self during this time. Here are some ideas and tips:

Turn Off the TV and Newsfeeds 

Recognize that news channels are incentivized to increase viewership or online “clicks,” and headlines are often sensationalized. Watching the news constantly does not necessarily help you gain more information. In fact, constant news consumption can lead to more anxiety and confusion, as information available changes often.

Discern News Sources That Are Reliable and Unbiased

Check the source of news and make sure it is reliable before absorbing or passing the information along. Read the full article, rather than just the title–often, titles do not accurately portray the entirety of the information in the article. 

Use Your Instincts for Good Mental Health Practices 

If you’re reading an article or watching the news and begin to feel stressed, anxious, or panicked, turn it off. You can come back to it later after taking time to calm down or find another source for information that will convey the news in a less sensational manner. Limit exposure to news media, and particularly avoid frightening images or accounts of a traumatic event.

Watch News That is Unrelated to the Major Crises or Traumatic Events

Be intentional about keeping up with events and stories unrelated to current crises. This will help you take your mind off the situation and remind you that there are still other things happening in the world, many of which are good. 

Prepare a Safe Space for Consuming Negative News

When you must watch the news or read news updates, place yourself in a calming environment. Inevitably, you will need to get information from the news to stay updated. If you find yourself starting to get anxious while you read or watch the news, set yourself up in a calm environment: 

  • Eliminate other noisy distractions.
  • Practice deep breathing exercises while you are watching the news. Sit up straight, place your feet flat on the ground, and breath in through the nose and out through the mouth.
  • Make sure you are in a room or space where you feel calm and comfortable.

Limiting your media intake and practicing self-care while watching the news can help you manage the information you are taking in and keep calm in the midst of an uncertain situation. 



About JFCS Pittsburgh Counseling Services

Jewish Family and Community Services (JFCS) Pittsburgh provides a range of counseling services to

encourage and support the emotional well-being of its community through training, crisis support, and counseling. For more information call For more information please call JFCS Counseling Services at 412-521-3800 or visit www.jfcspgh.org/services/counseling-services