It’s okay to take a break from the news

If a mosquito bites us, we swat it right away. If a bee stings us, we’re aware of what caused our pain immediately. And right before we have to speak in front of a crowd, most of us are aware of what’s causing our anxiety. The causes of these moments of discomfort are easy to identify. But what about that general feeling of mild anxiety that’s hovering around everyone these days? Coronavirus? Sure, but I think it’s something more. I think it’s the news.

There’s a lot going on right now, so what I’m about to suggest will be hard to handle, but I believe it’s important every month or two to go at least 24 hours without ANY kind of news. No world news. No local news. No radio news. No social media news. Nothing. Our minds need a chance to decompress and relax every now and again, and going without the news for 24 hours is a great way to do it. Will you miss a big news story? Sure. Your friends will find out that Martians landed a full day before you did, but you’re going to be more accepting of the idea of Martian overlords than your friends who were glued to the television all day yesterday.

Staying up on things is very important, so I’m not suggesting doing this often or for very long. I went 2 weeks without the news in 2003 and it turned out the Iraq war started during that time and I had no idea about it! I do think if you try this, though, you’ll find that on the first night of your experiment sleep comes easier and lasts longer, and you will have more time during the 24 hours to reconnect with family and children and old friends. Just don’t let them tell you what they learned today! Thank you for reading my 16th blog.

Mark Inglis

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