Coronavirus News Giving You Anxiety? Here's How to Set Healthy Boundaries
A question I'm hearing a lot as a therapist right now during the COVID-19 pandemic: How can I set boundaries and stay informed?
Every time you turn on the TV, COVID-19 is dominating the news cycle. That's why the best approach is to set strict boundaries for yourself.
First, I would start by making sure you limit any searches to gain information about the virus to reputable sites—the CDC and WHO websites would be good places to start.
In addition, you could also set a boundary of checking the news once or twice a day, at specific times—perhaps in the morning, and in the evening. Although it’s true that things seem to be changing quickly, those two touch points during the day should be adequate.
For news, I would recommend checking in with a local news site, so that you can keep abreast of any new guidelines for your immediate area. Although the press conferences from the White House may be helpful, if you are trying to limit your news consumption, you can probably skip them, confident that the key points will be summarized for you in your local news.
If your newsfeed is anything like mine, information (and misinformation) is also all over social media. For that reason, you’ll need to set boundaries there as well. You can do this by deciding in advance what times you will allow yourself to check your social media and for how long. You could even set a timer to keep yourself honest.
Finally, make sure to check in with respect to how you're feeling. If you’re getting too anxious as a result of checking in to stay informed, then take a break, ground yourself through a quick meditation, and dial back your consumption of the news.
As long as you know the precautions you should be taking and are following them, you’ll be able to do your part to flatten the curve.
We asked the Shine community for even more tips on how they are setting boundaries with the news during this time. Here's what they shared:
- Moniter the time spent on your phone:
- Mute words that might trigger your anxiety:
- Ask yourself these questions before continuing to scroll:
- Seek out positive news:
- Don't be afriad to set boundaries with your apps:
- Try to schedule time without the news:
Read next: We Asked Experts How to Cope With Your Coronavirus Anxiety)
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