A mental health guide to watching the news: ‘You have a human right to decide how much is enough’

Dr. Jennifer Hartstein was featured in the article below as Yahoo Life Mental Health contributor and practicing psychologist.

As COVID-19 continues to claim tens of thousands of lives across the U.S., graphic footage of George Floyd’s death circulates across Twitter, and police officers clash with protesters, watching the news can be a bleak, upsetting and overwhelming process. For many people, it’s triggering.

Further complicating the issue is our dependence on media content and social media feeds to keep tabs on what’s happening in the world — particularly during this intense news cycle — as we shelter at home and see our usual social circles shrink. And while it’s important to take part in these conversations and do our individual part to move the needle forward, mental health experts say it’s also OK to be protective of how much news we consume in these dark times, especially for those prone to anxiety and depression or with experience of trauma.

“Limiting news and social media is a great strategy for managing feelings of anxiety and helplessness,” agrees Jen Hartstein, Yahoo Life Mental Health contributor and practicing psychologist. “Sometimes that is the best thing we can do for ourselves when needed.”

Here, Hartstein and Asha Tarry, a psychotherapist, author, life coach and mental health advocate, share their tips for navigating the news cycle with a healthy mindset.

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2020-06-12T11:42:18-04:00All Posts, Articles, Media, Mental health|
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