With shutdowns, self-isolation and economic gloom all around us, it’s tempting to spend your day fixed to the TV news cycle or scrolling through your feeds. Stop it! It’s doing your head in and creating anxiety and stress that does you no good. The Coronavirus situation has been a financial boom for news media businesses as they pretend to be a public service while they rake in millions of dollars in advertising revenue, by creating sensationalism around the facts, and capitalise on our fears and need for information.
It’s true that we do need information in times like this, but its a trap to fall into the mindless scrolling and endless TV news cycle. Turn it on, get your information, then shut it down and get on with your life. If there is an update later today, you will not miss out, you will catch up tomorrow.
Shut down your the 24/7 news cycle.
It’s probably a good idea to check-in once a day to get updates but news programs and websites are designed to draw you in with the promise of the next “breaking” article, “stay tuned”, you might miss out. This keeps us switched on during the commercial break or addicted to scrolling the screen for the next bit of news. Their job is to sell advertising and to keep you watching or scrolling. You can do it, switch it off close it down.
Filter your social media.
I have a policy when it comes to mall stand marketers approaching me in the shopping centres. “If it wasn’t on my list when I left the house this morning, then some girl walking up to me with a big smile and a brochure in her hand won’t make me need it now”. I have the same policy with my social media accounts. I decide who gets to be in my feed. I “unfollow” “block” and “unfriend” negativity fear and misinformation. If it wasn’t on my list, then I probably don’t need it in my feed.
Check the source.
When you read something that is worrying, check the source, not the person who sent it to you but where the story or gossip originated. Is a political group behind it? Is it true? What is the expertise and authority of the author? What are other news sources saying about it? www.snopes.com is pretty good at calling out the fake information.
Become the place where negativity dies.
That negative post came into your life because it was passed on by hundreds of others before it came to you. But when it arrives on your doorstep make sure it dies right there. Don’t let it in, don’t consume it don’t pass it on to others. Become the place where fear, misinformation and hate has its last breath.
Turn your screen addiction into something positive.
Lockdowns and isolation mean boredom, combine that with our addiction with looking at our screens constantly and its easy to spend hours scrolling through the gloom and doom. Turn your phone or tablet into a positive, uplifting zone. There are reading apps, youtube tutorials, games and tonnes of other things you can do to learn, grow and have fun.
Create a list of things you want to achieve every day.
Include things like.
- Learn one new thing today.
- Call someone I haven’t talked to in a while today.
- One task you have been meaning to do for some time.
- Do something nostalgic.
You can make such a difference in the world today by shutting down the fear and misinformation and making the most of the downtime our nation is experiencing. Times like this can make us either bitter or better, you may not be able to change your circumstances but you can change the attitude you have and how you play it out