Wellness in the Time of Covid-19: Avoid Information Overload!

The current Covid-19 crisis is impacting all of us...as a University community, city, state, nation, and world.  Being such a “hot topic,” there is an unlimited amount of information to consume on every platform imaginable.  Newspapers, websites, social media...literally everywhere! 

While it is wise to stay informed, it is all too easy to go down a virtual “rabbit hole” of information!  When we constantly feed our minds with bad news, it can lead to increased fear, anxiety, sadness, and anger.  So much of what is published is alarmist or sensationalized, and only serves to make us feel terrible, rather than providing useful information. 

 Luckily, there are some actions you can take to limit your engagement in indiscriminately consuming information about the crisis:

  1. Choose just a few sources that you will go to for information.
  2. Set a time limit on the amount of time you will spend consuming information each day.  For example, no more than 30 minutes twice a day might be reasonable for you. 

  3. Consider limiting time spent on social media.  While it can be a great way to feel connected with others, it's also a platform for TONS of information related to the current crisis...some funny, some alarming, some true, some sensationalized.  Monitor how it makes you feel and adjust accordingly.

  4. If you struggle with being able to set limits on time spent consuming news and information, as least schedule a few 20 minute breaks throughout the day to give your brain a break!

  5. When interacting with others, try to talk about subjects besides the current crisis.  

  6. Make it a point to look up “happy stories.”  There are positive things happening, too. Have you seen the penguins who got to wander around the closed Shedd Aquarium in Chicago?  Impossible not to smile! 

Try these tips out and try to take in information a little more mindfully.  Pay attention to how it makes you feel.  Choose to seek out something that will make you smile!