Hello, my name is Michele, and I'm a news junkie. At least I was, until about two years ago. I listened to the TV news every morning as I was getting ready for work. I subscribed to the newspaper and read it every day on my lunch hour. I listened to NPR news on the way to and from work. I checked the news online every couple of hours, and watched the television news most nights when I got home. I had a general sense that all of this news was probably contributing to my overall stress, but I prided myself on being informed and up to date on current events.
Then one day I decided to go on a news fast. No news for 24 hours. Then a week. Guess what. The world didn't stop spinning. I felt a lot calmer. I gave up my newspaper subscription. I started listening to music in the mornings, or just getting ready for work in peace and quiet. I settled on listening to NPR on my commute, checking the news online once or twice a day, and reading the Sunday paper.
A couple of months ago, as my boyfriend and I were enjoying our Sunday breakfast and newspaper ritual, I became very aware of how anxious I became while I was reading the paper. That day's news seemed particularly filled with child abuse, death, destruction, and political divisiveness. The following Sunday, I decided to do the Sudoku puzzle while my boyfriend read the paper. He was kind enough to fill me in on the important highlights, while I did the puzzle, perused the travel articles, book reviews and human interest stories, and ignored the rest. I felt so much better!These days, instead of indulging my news obsession, I listen to an audio book on my commute, read a book or run errands on my lunch hour, and limit my exposure to the constant horror stories. I occasionally watch or listen to the news, and I feel like I know everything I need to know about what's going on. I feel a lot calmer. And the world keeps on spinning.