Are your News and Social Media Habits Causing you Anxiety and Depression?
Many of my clients tell me they feel responsible for staying informed about world events. Their social media habits for doing this cause anxiety. How can you stay connected and informed and still take care of your mental health? My clients and I have come up with some things that work to decrease anxiety around media use.
Schedule your news and social media time. Set your terms for when you will ingest it.
Most of us go about our days in distraction. If we are at a stoplight, we look at our Facebook feed or Twitter. If we get our oil changed or eat dinner, the television might be on. Often, we are scrolling mindlessly. This
impacts our mood. It makes us anxious and, often, depressed.
Ideas on how to make this happen:
1. If you need to post for work, take advantage of scheduling posts ahead of time.
2. Make it hard to access the news and your apps that deliver the information. It’s too easy for us to indulge in these habits.
2.Use distraction blocking apps like
for website blocking.
3 Put your phone and iPad out of the room. It may be less likelll you’ll use it if you have to walk far to get to it.
4. Take the apps off your phone.
5. Sign out of sites on your computer, so you have to log in.
6. Limit and cancel your news subscription services.
7. Take news and status notifications off your phone, iPad and computer. It’s distracting, addicting, and makes you anxious,
and was engineered that way.
8. Put on your armor when you read the news.
Putting on your armor means preparing to do something difficult. Do this before you read the news. The news can be terrifying and revolting. Be prepared for intense emotions and in a place where you can handle your reactions. If you aren’t ready for it, don’t read it. If your mind is vulnerable and stressed, protect it; don’t stress it more.
9. Think about the Timing
Don’t scroll through social media before bed or before a stressful meeting. You may be unaware of how it provokes anxiety or an unsettled feeling and makes you less able to cope with your day.
10. Set several times a day to check your texts and email. Checking your email, phone and texts can increase your stress and anxiety. Limit your stress response and protect your health by cutting down on the number of times you are doing this a day.
11. Practice mindfulness
Take up a mindfulness practice. This will slow down the pact and help you get present.
12. Protect the family time and time with your loved ones. Have a no phones at the table rule. Don’t watch television or listen to the news during dinner.
13. Pay attention to the good. After you read the news, check in with a positive news site. Connect with good and hopeful things that are currently happening around the world.
is a great site you can subscribe to. Read one of these stories for every other news story you read.
14. Feeling stressed by the news and social media? Take a complete break for a while. It will do wonders for your health.
Research suggests that social media exacerbates anxiety and depression especially in women. For example
a study based on with almost 11,000 14-year-olds the
Millennium Cohort Study
found that many girls spend far more on social media than boys and are more likely to experience depression connected to it.
Anything you can do to manage it is helpful.
Medical information obtained from this website is not intended as a substitute for professional care. If you have or suspect you have a problem, you should consult a healthcare provider.