Self Care When Watching the News
As news about the coronavirus (COVID-19) continues to come out, the reports can easily make us feel overwhelmed, anxious, or fearful. Practicing self care when watching the news in crucial. One of the best ways to care for your mental and emotional health at this time is by limiting media intake and choosing to rely on accurate, factual, unbiased resources to provide information and updates. These tips can help you make wise choices in limiting the media and caring for your whole self during this time.
1) Turn off the TV/online news.
News channels are reporting frequently about coronavirus, both on TV and through videos on the internet. Watching the news constantly does not necessarily help you gain more information and, in fact, can lead to more anxiety and confusion, as the information available changes often.
2) Discern which sources are reliable.
You will likely see lots of articles and videos on your Facebook and social media feeds; check the source 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. For the most accurate information, use the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, World Health Organization, and Allegheny County Health Department to stay updated.
3) 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.
4) Watch news that is unrelated to the coronavirus.
Be intentional about keeping up with events and stories unrelated to coronavirus. 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.
5) 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, especially with many places closing or cancelling events. 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. While staying updated on the coronavirus during this time is important, you can use these tips to reduce your anxiety and stress.
If you feel you are in need of professional mental health care, please call us at 412-422-7200 to connect to counseling and resources.
Stay up to date with with our coronavirus community updates here: https://www.jfcspgh.org/coronavirus/