When typing out “dealing with... “ in Google’s search bar, the dropdown instantly populates a list of suggested and popular searches. Among the items that want to autocomplete your sentence are heavy hitters such as “anxiety,” “depression,” “grief,” “uncertainty,” “frustration,” “stress,” and “anger.” Coincidentally enough, another word prediction in the equivocal “dealing with…” search is “media.” This may or may not surprise you with the ever-evolving current events that’s ensued the mass majority of 2020 thus far.
Too much negative news will increase anxiety and worry, impacting your mental health drastically. Americans spend on average 57 minutes per day taking in news on television and the internet, but as current events evolve, it is likely that consumption increases. Hearing the same negative news over and over again can increase your personal worry, triggering depression and other helpless feelings. Managing your news intake and setting healthy limits can help you live a better life. Now, we are not saying that you should block out all news, but instead create a routine that allows you to check in on news and media in shorter increments throughout the day. Additionally, try cutting out the news before bed time as new headlines and anxiety may cause more sleepless nights.
Ah, your phone! We use this handy dandy mini computer for pretty much everything. From text messages with our friends to scrolling through online media hubs. While we love the idea of having the world at the tips of our fingers, our cell phones are also a portal for negative news at any time. We invite you to check your average daily screen time on your phone to see just how much you are peering into that tiny screen. Avoid reaching for your phone first thing in the morning when you wake up, and avoid sleeping with your phone by your bed. This way, you will start and end your day in a peaceful and uninterrupted way. Set your intentions for the day before canoodling with the morning news, and before bed, try a sleepy yoga routine to relax your muscles and mind rather than one last scroll through Twitter.
Roll out your mat, light some candles, turn on ambient music, and settle in for a replenishing flow. Gentle yoga styles on the body such as Hatha and Vinyasa encourage you to focus on your alignment, posture, and heartbeat, all while releasing your happy hormones. A deep stretch, paired with some deep breathing, can make everything feel a lot lighter. Meditating is also a great way to silence the noise and release the tension that’s built up from these historic last few months. It allows you to ‘X’ out of all the tabs in your brain and dispatch a million miles, or years, away. You’ll soon forget the turmoil for the time being and feel more at ease.
So when your social media feed becomes too saturated with outspoken views and opposing opinions on tiresome topics, turn to yoga. Next time someone wants to discuss the recent reports on the “number of cases,” or every news channel you flip through is shoving graphs either spiking or plummeting in your face, remember; you have the power to walk away and refocus your energy elsewhere.
Google may not agree, but a digital detox is just what the doctor ordered.