How do I stay informed while maintaining my sanity?

A man reads a newspaper by the wall. Photo Courtesy: Flickr

In addition to working as a reporter for a newspaper, I also read other newspapers. I browse articles from The Fresno Bee and The New York Times a lot, as well as content from other publications.

I also watch documentaries. I love learning about things that I don’t know much about. Although it’s important to be careful because they can be misleading, documentaries can be interesting and insightful.

I like to be informed. I feel that there’s an importance to doing so. But sometimes being informed really takes a toll on my well-being.

There is a multitude of awful occurrences in the world. A lot of the plastic products people use end up polluting oceans. Racism, sexism, homophobia and other types of discrimination affect the lives of individuals all around us. There have been so many school shootings in my lifetime that sometimes I get them confused in my head. I could go on and on.

Hearing about such negative things brings me deep sadness. It’s hard for me to get them out of my head. I keep thinking about how these things affect people’s lives, making them harder than they need to be. It really brings me down. I know there are a lot of wonderful things, too. But at times, the bad overshadows the good.  How do I stay informed while maintaining my sanity?

I guess the easiest answer is – don’t be informed. But I don’t want to do that. The first step to enacting change is awareness. If we don’t acknowledge a problem how is it going to get solved? I don’t want to be delusional and believe that there’s nothing to worry about.

At the same time, I like being happy. I wish I only had to hear good news. I want everyone to be happy and live a good life. I guess I just don’t want people to suffer more than they have to.

Like just about anything else in life, balance is crucial. I will still continue reading the news. But eventually, I should step away. It’s important to take steps towards maintaining one’s well being. It’s not a bad thing to consume frivolous, more lighthearted content. I just can’t let it be the only thing I do.

In addition, I try to take actions regarding what I feel saddened by. I voted in the past presidential election and plan to vote in this year’s state election. Some people feel that voting in elections has no real value, but I think that it’s better than nothing. I’ve also taken steps towards preserving the environment. I use a reusable water bottle and shopping bag instead of using countless plastic water bottles and shopping bags.

I don’t think it’s a sign of weakness to acknowledge that the news makes you feel worse. Perhaps it’s just a way to be honest with yourself.

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