You wake up and you are immediately overwhelmed by the news. You can read them on your phone. You can watch them on TV. You can hear them on the radio on your way to work. They are everywhere. And yes, it is very important to stay informed. You have to know what is happening around the world. You need to educate yourself on current events. However, it is important to unplug at least once during the day and take time for yourself. There is nothing wrong with needing a break from reality.
How do we do it? How do we find a balance between staying informed, educating ourselves, and taking the time to disconnect? If we are honest with ourselves, it is not easy. We feel the pressure of having to know everything that is happening. If you do not know what just happened, you are out of the loop. People tend to be more judgmental lately, if they realize you have not heard of something that happened in the last few days. We forget there are some who need to stop reading, listening, or watching the news once in a while.
The key is finding what works best for you. I have tried different things that help me stay balanced and informed. Here are a few ideas you can take and adjust to your daily routine:
News in the Morning
Before I started working in the morning, I would wake up and spend almost two hours on my phone reading the news, scrolling through social media, and even discussing current events with my friends. I realized informing myself early, before I started my day, made it easier for me to process what was happening in the world. Setting that routine allowed me to spend the rest of the day focusing on my job, my workouts, and running errands. But it implied that I knew what was being said and could discuss it if needed.
News in the Afternoon
During quarantine, my sleeping schedule was completely changed. I noticed I was able to pay better attention to things in the afternoon, so I started reading the news then. I would find relevant articles from the day before and earlier that morning to read. I would scroll through social media and take a look at posts from the previous day. I would read comments my friends had made on their accounts. I found this helped me read more updated news and I was able to get more information on current events. After that, I would spend the night distracting myself from the horrific news I had read; although, sometimes it was impossible to disconnect.
News at Night
As I started working in the morning and in the afternoon, I realized the only time I had to read the news and inform myself on current situations–whether it was the global pandemic or the protests–was to lay in bed at night and read everything I found. Usually, I would do a selection of the most relevant articles I had seen throughout the day and spend time reading each of them. Scrolling through social media and texting my friends was also a way to educate myself and generate discussions that broaden my knowledge.
Choosing a specific time of the day to read the news can be very helpful. I experienced all three of these moments and found they all work if I adjust them to my routine. By spending those hours reading the news and discussing with other people, I was able to create a balance in my life. After I was done, I would spend the rest of the day focusing on other things that needed my attention or distracting myself from horrible situations. That does not mean I was oblivious to what was happening around the world. It was just a way for me to find balance.
You should be able to do the same. Create your own balance. Do not be afraid to unplug, disconnect, and distract yourself from what is happening in our society. Taking a few hours to yourself does not mean you are ignoring anything. On the contrary, it means you are taking care of yourself to continue fighting for what is right.
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