I have written about self-care a lot over the years as I feel it is one of the most important things we can do to manage our mental health. Sometimes our self-care does not always include managing the amount of information we take in about what is happening in our society.
In times of crisis, the amount of information we can expose ourselves to is seemingly unlimited. Every news outlet, social media platform, radio, television, anything that can contain information is running nonstop 24 hours a day seven days a week. There is no end to the continuous river of information.
While we need to have some information to be aware of what is happening around us, overload is something we choose to engage in. We can read a single article about an event or we can read hours worth of articles about the same event from multiple sources.
We choose how much of the information we consume. And how we choose determines how much of the information consumes our mental health.
Some days, consuming any information may not be the best self-care. There are some days where we are better off not being informed at that moment about all the crises surrounding us. Sometimes, self-care is choosing not to be informed at that moment. And that is okay.
If we do choose to be informed, monitoring our intake is vitally important. Overloading ourselves with too much information can result in emotional and physical symptoms.
Too much information can result in sadness, anger, fear, and anxiety that can translate into headaches, fatigue, insomnia, nightmares, hypervigilance and more. We can be short tempered with others or oppositely we can want to withdraw and isolate ourselves to escape.
We have to be deliberate in our management of the information we consume. We must set limits for our time spent in consumption of this information. It can be difficult when every screen, broadcast, and radio program have more of this same information we are trying to limit.
Then perhaps we need to separate ourselves from these sources of information. Having information free days can enormously benefit your mental health especially in times of crisis.
Making sure that you are informed but not overloaded in this age of unending information availability is vital to your mental health.
Until next time,