Navigating the tide of news fatigue

In an era where the tap of information flows unceasingly, it's not uncommon to feel submerged by the relentless current of news, especially when it pertains to unsettling events such as war. As a therapist, I often encounter clients who are weighed down by news fatigue, a phenomenon that can lead to increased anxiety, stress and a general sense of being overwhelmed. How do we stay afloat in this deluge of information without drowning in despair?


Acknowledge the impact

First, it's important to recognise that news fatigue is a real and valid response to the constant stream of media. The images and stories we see and read can significantly affect our emotional well-being. By acknowledging this, we begin the process of regaining control over our consumption habits.

Curate your consumption

You don't have to switch off entirely; staying informed is vital. However, curating your news intake is key. Be selective about your sources and the times you choose to engage with news. It might be helpful to designate specific times of the day to check updates rather than allowing them to intrude upon you at all hours.

Set boundaries

Setting boundaries is essential. This might mean limiting the amount of time you spend reading or watching the news each day or taking days off from news consumption altogether. It's about finding a balance that allows you to be informed but not inundated.

Engage in active coping strategies

When the news becomes overwhelming, actively engaging in coping strategies can be beneficial. This could involve physical activity, mindfulness practices, creative outlets or social activities that can serve as a counterbalance to the heaviness of war news.

Seek constructive engagement

Sometimes, taking constructive action can alleviate feelings of helplessness. This might involve volunteering, advocacy or supporting causes that are working towards peace and aid in war-torn areas.

Foster connection

Remember the importance of human connection. Discussing your feelings about current events with friends, family or a support group can provide solace and perspective.

Embrace digital detoxes

In this digital age, our devices often act as conduits for the constant flow of news. Consider regular digital detox periods, where you consciously decide to refrain from using digital devices, providing yourself with a respite from the barrage of news. This not only alleviates stress but can also improve sleep and personal relationships.

Information discernment

Developing the skill of discernment in evaluating news sources is crucial. Not all news is created equal; some outlets may sensationalise events to attract viewership. Learning to identify and trust reputable sources that provide balanced reporting can help maintain a more measured perspective on current events.

Cognitive behavioural techniques

Cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) offers tools to challenge and change unhelpful thoughts and behaviours, teaching you to manage your emotional response to the news. Techniques such as cognitive restructuring can transform a negative thought pattern into a more positive and realistic one.

Nature and the outdoors

Spending time in nature can have a calming effect, offering a break from the human-made world of news. Activities like hiking, gardening, or simply walking in a park can help reset your stress levels.

Professional support

Lastly, if news fatigue is significantly impacting your mental health, seeking professional support may be necessary. Therapists can provide personalised strategies to manage the emotional toll of the news cycle. While it's natural to want to stay informed, it's equally important to preserve your mental health.

By becoming mindful of your news consumption and taking proactive steps to manage its impact, you can maintain a sense of equilibrium, even in the face of challenging global events.

The views expressed in this article are those of the author. All articles published on Counselling Directory are reviewed by our editorial team.

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Guildford GU5 & GU2
Guildford GU5 & GU2

Donna Morgan is a highly experienced Humanistic Mental Health Therapist with 26 years of practice. Her passion for helping individuals with their mental health has driven her to develop a compassionate and holistic approach to therapy. Donna firmly believes in treating each client as a unique individual and providing them with personalised support.

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