By Account Associate Kailyn Middlemist
If 2020, and now 2021, taught us anything, it’s that the news never stops pouring in. Sometimes it’s good news (Johnson and Johnson’s vaccine could be approved for emergency use soon), sometimes it’s bad news (a violent mob stormed the US Capitol building, the first time such a thing has happened since 1814).
Unfortunately, there’s more bad news than good most days, and consuming too much of it (as mentioned in our previous wellness blog), can be unhealthy. This is sometimes called “doomscrolling,” a word Merriam Webster says it has its eye on.
Doomscrolling can be defined simply as consuming too much news in a single sitting. The word comes from Twitter, where it’s easy to just keep scrolling and scrolling through tweets, even when they’re not pleasant. Hence, the doom. This can lead to anxiety and depression, since there is no shortage of doom-like news.
Putting down our phones can be hard; we are on them so often that it can be hard to find an activity to replace that time. But despite this, there are options:
- This doesn’t have to be sitting on the floor with your eyes closed. It could be watching comforting YouTube videos or going for a walk, whatever makes your brain turn off for a bit.
- Reading something else. Books are a great way to distract yourself from anything, especially the news. Read a novel of sorts, avoid current events books.
- Find a good show to watch. Netflix has a multitude of options for binge watching and finding something entertaining can take your mind off the news for hours on end.
In general, you’re looking for a distraction, not an escape. Following the news is important, staying informed is necessary, but don’t do so at the expense of your mental health. We can all find healthy ways to cope with the never-ending news cycle.