The news can be quite stressful nowadays, whether you’re consuming foreign or domestic stories. From the war in Ukraine and global skyrocketing gas prices to rising interest rates in Canada, crime in Toronto, and protests in Ottawa, the latest stories can quickly raise your anxiety. The stress on young Canadians is compounded by the mental stress ramifications of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Thankfully, as a young Canadian, you can stay informed — without letting it impact your mental health. Here are some tips that may help:
Consume News from the Right Source
The Internet has drastically changed how media writes and markets news stories. In a competitive industry, stories and headlines are deliberately given a more sensational twist to trigger your emotions. The clickbait culture, however, can unnecessarily result in emotions such as fear, anger, and sorrow.
You can counter sensationalism by choosing the source for your news. Many young Canadians read news from websites like Canada News Media because its editors and writers have adopted a healthier culture. The platform informs and educates young readers without relying on clickbait tactics while offering proper context and insight for stories. It also shines a light on authentic stories and thought-provoking content in a more digestible, fun, and entertaining format.
Avoid Sensationalist News Outlets
Not only should you be consuming news from sensible sources, but you should probably stop following outlets that use triggering language. Change the channel, turn off the TV, try another station, and unfollow media pages that use distressing language to grab your attention.
Some social media pages allow you to unfollow pages temporarily. Take advantage of this feature — experiment by muting sensationalist media outlets for 30 days to see if it helps.
Mute Social Media Accounts
It’s not just professional media outlets — friends and influencers on social media may also habitually share stressful news. Besides being clickbait, these stories may also be laced with falsehoods. Try muting social media accounts on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube, and TikTok that raise your anxiety.
Pick a Time to Consume News
Whether you’re in your car, on your couch, or sitting at your computer desk, you don’t have to keep up with the latest event constantly. Select news outlets that inform users without leveraging their emotions and tune in during your allotted news consumption time.
While this strategy may involve avoiding mainstream TV channels, radio stations, and social media pages, there’s plenty of less stressful content for you to consume that adds value to your life.
Speak to Friends
You’ll be surprised to learn how many Canadians find current events stressful. Speak to trusted friends about how you’re feeling. Finding common ground over your triggers may be therapeutic and help you find coping mechanisms.
Prioritize Other Activities
The tension you feel from news stories can be magnified by mental health challenges in your personal life. Consider taking a complete break from all sorts of news and focus on activities that enhance your mental health. Certain exercises, hobbies, and even speaking to a mental health professional can be helpful. You can start consuming news again gradually when you’re ready.
Although the news can feel worrying, you can find a balance between looking after your mental health and staying informed. Consume stories from suitable sources and take a break when you need it.