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Strategies for Staying Informed Without Being Overwhelmed

1. Value yourself for wanting to be informed.

2. Explore what level of staying current with events/breaking news is the right amount for you.

3. It is important to assess the types and sources of news you take in. Is the source reputable, accurate, and well-reviewed?

4. Do a check-in with yourself on how you feel after consuming emails, TV, social media, podcasts, newspapers, etc. Of course, it will vary depending on the topic and how you are relating to it. You can use a 1-3 scale afterwards so you can compare and better decide what and how long to be involved with certain information. This can help you determine what amount of exposure is helpful and allows you to feel informed without leaving you more stressed or anxious.

5. Tracking what might trigger uncomfortable feelings can help mitigate these feelings in the future. Is it a past fear, experience, trauma, or concern? Or just being overwhelmed by current events? Writing down your feelings, reality testing your concerns, and listing your gratitude can also help you put your feelings into a healthy perspective.

6. Schedule breaks from all sources for a brief period-of-time. Try replacing them, or supplementing with self-nurturing activities, which will support you in clarifying what helps you to feel more grounded. You may want to try music, reading, meditating, walking, gardening, meeting with a friend, etc.

7. If there is an important topic that you want to be up to date on or more knowledgeable about, consider limiting the amount of time you spend consuming information about it. It may also help to talk with someone afterwards to process the issue and your feelings.

8. You won’t always get it right, but just trying to be thoughtful and wise about your intake of information is a step in the right direction. When appropriate, making a donation to a humanitarian group that is working to right the wrong you are observing can be helpful.

9. Try to supplement the more heart wrenching, difficult news with uplifting, positive material and remember being kind and showing gratitude to yourself and others is always the best antidote.

Diane Bridgeman, Ph.D.
Licensed Clinical Psychologist
Past president and current chair of MBPA's Social Justice/diversity committee
Past chair of APA’s ACCA committee
(831) 420-1109 – is designed for educational purposes and is not a substitute for professional medical or psychological care. If you require medical or psychological services, please consult a qualified professional in your area.

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