Do you find yourself scrolling through twitter of facebook posts far longer than you planned because all the news is so terrible? You’ve been doomscrolling.

It’s hard to stop, even though it makes you feel worse and is likely to be bad for your long term mental health. In this weird time when we’re all so isolated, and when there is awful news from almost every country from the wealthy country refusing to provide food for children in need to war in a country you’ve never been to, to protests in another, and the election in the world’s most powerful nation.

Don’t click on those links, it won’t make you feel better.

And if you feel the urge to comment on any of the things you read the feelings of Doom get worse.

What can you do?

Practical defensive measures.

  • turn off notifications
  • move the apps that you’re most addicted to off your phone, or at least off the home page of your phone. I moved Twitter off the home page some time ago when they changed their notification settings level to VERY ANNOYING.
  • leave your phone outside your bedroom, or at least out of reach when you go to sleep… added advantage you’ll need to get up when your alarm goes off and you’re more likely to start your day on time.
  • don’t read the comments
  • mute or unfollow the accounts that are producing overwhelming news – whether that’s by the volume they publish or the scariness of the content. You can follow them again later.

Positive Distraction

  • do something to entertain yourself online that isn’t on a social platform
  • watch a movie, or listen to an audio book or podcast – but pick something from the before times that won’t send your mind spinning on lockdowns, protests and vote counting. If you need to keep your hands busy and away from your phone teach yourself to knit.
  • read a book, a real paper one.

Break the doomscrolling habit, you’ll be happier.

Image by Viraj Tamakuwala from Pixabay

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