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Simple Ways to Reduce Crisis Information Overload

Gen Z kids are connected to digital media almost 24-7, which translates into a hyperawareness of today's world but also significant anxiety. Everyone is anxious right now. Striking the balance between staying informed about the latest outrage or Covid-19 statistics with keeping sane is hard to do.

Here are 3 tips to help reduce information overload:

Cell phone blue light can interfere with sleep. Photo Credit: Wix Images.

1. Limit news to 30 minutes a day.

Try 15 minutes in the morning and 15 minutes in the evening to review the latest trends of the day. Following each press conference, each slight by political candidates or the press, and the latest weather report doesn't help reduce anxiety. Unfortunately, this constant deluge of news sends our nervous system into overdrive. 30 minutes a day is likely sufficient to stay on top of the news - even with the intense pace of news we've experienced lately. If you love listening to the radio or NPR, try an uplifting podcast for a more positive break after listening to your 15 minutes of headlines.

2. Stop Doomsday Scrolling.

We all know exactly what this -- constantly refreshing twitter, Facebook, and Instagram to see what crazy thing happened in the world today. This mindless scrolling is worse than vegging out in front of the television because your brain rarely focuses on one story line. Keep up with friends, focus on positive messages and limit scrolling to 10 minutes a day - try lunch. Be intentional with your social media time.

3. Charge you phone away from your bedroom and encourage your kids to do the same.

Putting your phone in a different room means you are less likely to read stressful content before you go to sleep. Consider creating a family "charging" station, where electronic devices are turned in at specific time each night. This creates a good routine for the whole family to get ready for sleep. Studies show that the blue light from computer screens also interrupts our sleep. Read a book, journal, or take a bath. I highly recommend the ground-breaking book on sleep, Why We Sleep. The funny thing is a fall asleep every time I read it.

These are strange times. Taking care of each other and ourselves is essential. Remember to rest, recover, and replenish.


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