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How to Stay Informed and Protect Your Peace

Written by: Amanda Levison, M.S., LMHC, LPC, CCBT

With the rise of 24/7 news cycles and the constant stream of information on social media, it's more important than ever to establish healthy habits when staying informed. 

While knowing what's happening in the world is crucial, taking care of our mental health and well-being is equally important.

This blog post will explore practical strategies for staying informed without feeling overwhelmed. From setting boundaries on our news consumption to practicing mindfulness and self-care, we will explore ways to balance staying informed and maintaining our peace of mind.

strategies for managing news intake without sacrificing mental health

9 Ways to Stay Informed and Protect Your Peace

1. Limit Your News Consumption.

One of the simplest ways to protect your peace while staying informed is to limit your news consumption. Constantly checking the news can be exhausting and overwhelming, especially if exposed to negative or distressing stories. 

So, avoid falling into the trap of doomscrolling, where you endlessly scroll through negative news stories on social media or news websites. This can lead to feelings of anxiety, stress, and even depression. Instead, take breaks from the news and focus on other activities that bring you joy and peace. 

You could take it a step further and do a complete digital detox as well.

2. Set Boundaries For Yourself. 

This could mean a few different things, but it is ultimately up to you how to manage it. Set a schedule and determine how many times a day (or week) you check the news. 

Maybe this means you will only watch your weekday news at 5 pm every day or check local headlines on your lunch break. Be selective of the media outlets you follow. 

Pick one or two reliable local news sources and one or two additional sources for your global events news. 

Setting boundaries and being selective about the news you consume can create a healthier balance between staying informed and protecting your peace of mind. Remember, it's okay to take a step back from the news when you need to and prioritize your mental health above all else.

Setting boundaries is something we often talk about in both personal (individual counseling) and couples therapy.

3. Choose Reliable Sources

In today's digital age, the amount of information available at our fingertips is overwhelming. We are constantly bombarded with news stories, opinions, and information from social media platforms to news websites. It is now more important than ever to be vigilant and discerning about the sources we trust for our news.

According to this study, with the prevalence of fake news and misinformation, it is crucial to seek out reputable news outlets with a track record of accurate and balanced reporting. 

These sources employ professional journalists who adhere to ethical standards and fact-check their stories before publishing. Sticking to established news organizations can be more confident in the credibility of the information you receive.

In contrast, sharing unverified information on social media can perpetuate falsehoods and contribute to the spread of misinformation. Be cautious about the sources of news stories you encounter on platforms like Facebook and Twitter. 

Random individuals on social media may have a different level of accountability and fact-checking than traditional news outlets. It is always wise to corroborate information from social media with reputable sources before accepting it as truth.

Additionally, many social media platforms are taking steps to combat the spread of misinformation by flagging or adding additional context to false or misleading information. 

These measures remind users to verify the information they come across and seek out reliable sources for accurate reporting.

4. Practice Media Literacy

Media literacy is the ability to evaluate and analyze media messages critically. By developing media literacy skills, you can become a more discerning consumer of information and better separate fact from fiction. 

Look for bias in the news you consume, question the motives of the sources you're reading, and be aware of how the media can manipulate information.

Research has found that the media hits us in four dimensions, each telling us information from a different perspective.

There are different ways to practice media literacy each one:

  1. Cognitively: This is the information that is being directly conveyed to us. Think about information logically—the who, what, when, where, why, and how.

  2. Emotionally: The feelings that are trying to be evoked from you and conveyed to you. How is this information making you feel? What do you think it is trying to make you feel? What is the purpose behind these emotions?

  3. Aesthetically: Precisely how the message is conveyed to you. What imagery is used? The music? The overall message? What is the goal of the imagery chosen to convey information to you?

  4. Morally: The values of the information being conveyed. Is this information morally correct? Is this a good way to think of this information?

5. Take Breaks From The News

Giving yourself a break from the news is important, especially when it feels overwhelming. It is important to unplug and unwind. In general, constant screen time and media consumption are poor for your overall well-being. 

Set aside time each day to unplug from your devices and engage in activities that bring you peace and joy. Whether it's going for a walk in nature, reading a book, or spending time with loved ones, taking breaks from the news can help you recharge and maintain your mental well-being.  

6. Engage In Self-Care Practices.

Self-care is crucial for maintaining your peace in a world that can sometimes feel chaotic and overwhelming. You cannot think critically or properly or make informed decisions if you are not caring for yourself. 

Make self-care a priority in your daily routine, whether through meditation, exercise, journaling, or simply relaxing and unwinding. Taking care of your physical, emotional, and mental well-being is essential for staying informed without sacrificing peace. 

Prioritizing self-care can help you better cope with the stress of staying informed and navigating the news with a sense of calm and balance.

7. Seek Out Positive News.

While staying informed about what's happening in the world is important, seeking out stories that inspire and uplift you is also beneficial. 

Look for sources of positive news that highlight the good happening in the world, whether it's stories of resilience, acts of kindness, or solutions to global challenges. 

Balancing the negative news with positive stories helps you maintain a more hopeful outlook on the world around you. 

Positive is best for your mental health. Remember, there is goodness and light in the world - seek it out and let it nourish your soul.

8. Connect With Others

Staying informed doesn't have to be a solitary endeavor. Reach out to friends, family, and community members to engage in conversations about current events and share your thoughts and concerns. 

Try joining a local support group for those who understand what you may be going through. Connecting with others can provide support, perspective, and a sense of solidarity in a sometimes isolating world. 

Building meaningful connections with those around you helps you stay informed while protecting your peace and sense of belonging.

9. Practice Gratitude

While staying informed about the challenges and injustices in the world, it's important to cultivate a sense of gratitude for the blessings in your own life. Take time each day to reflect on the things you're grateful for, whether it's your health, relationships, or the beauty of nature. 

You could say what you are grateful for out loud, share it with others, or even start a gratitude journal. Journaling is a great method for healthily expressing our feelings. 

Cultivating a practice of gratitude can help you stay grounded, resilient, and hopeful in the face of difficult news. 

When you stay focused on the positives in your life, you can maintain peace in a world that sometimes feels overwhelming and chaotic.


It is crucial to stay informed to be an engaged and responsible citizen. However, it is equally important to prioritize your peace and mental well-being. Remember, you cannot make informed thoughts without first caring for yourself. 

To achieve this balance, you can implement certain strategies such as setting boundaries, selecting trustworthy sources, practicing media literacy, taking breaks, engaging in self-care, seeking positive news, connecting with others, and cultivating gratitude. 

If you are struggling to maintain your mental health and are overwhelmed by what is going on in the world, try reaching out to a mental health professional to learn coping mechanisms and develop a plan to better your overall well-being. 


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