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Overwhelmed by COVID news?  Here’s what to watch out for and what to ignore.

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Overwhelmed by COVID news? Here’s what to watch out for and what to ignore.

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As we navigate another year of global coronavirus crisis, there is no doubt that the devastating effects of the pandemic have had a collective impact on our mental health.

Staying informed about COVID-19 is essential, but it can also be a trigger. Between new variants like micron popping up and thousands of people falling ill every day, the overall stress of the “new normal” we have navigated can be difficult to absorb.

“After two years of chronic stress and universal trauma, most people are beyond their ability to cope with other stressors,” BeMe Health Chief Medical Officer Neha Chaudhary told HuffPost. “If you feel overwhelmed by the news of COVID-19, just know that you are not alone.”

So what can you do to stay on top of the latest COVID news, but feel less mentally drained? We asked a few medical experts to share their advice. Here’s what they had to say.

Prioritize protocols in your local community.

With COVID-19 dominating the news cycle, it can seem scary to think about the future of the pandemic. But ultimately, the global nature of this health threat is beyond your control. One thing you can stay informed of protocols in your local community and do your part to reduce the spread of coronavirus.

“Pay attention to public health guidelines in your area, such as getting vaccinated and boosted and wearing masks to protect yourself,” Sharon Chekijianemergency physician at Yale Medicine, told HuffPost.

Additionally, keeping an eye on the levels of spread in your community will help you make the right decisions for you and your family.

“Living life in this limbo of epidemics, variants, exposures and disease can feel overwhelming as we constantly have to assess risk, assess our situation and make changes in our daily lives,” said Madeline Lucas, therapist. and Head of Clinical Content at Reala digital mental health and therapy platform.

Remember to check in with yourself and prioritize your well-being while consuming all of this information. If you’re feeling overwhelmed, take a break to redirect your energy elsewhere by taking a walk or calling a friend, Lucas said.

“If you feel overwhelmed by the news of COVID-19, just know that you are not alone.”

– Neha Chaudhary, Chief Medical Officer of BeMe Health

Be aware of your general exposure to COVID news.

In addition to staying tuned into your local guidelines, it can be helpful to learn other key pieces of information, such as school closure policies, travel advice, and testing recommendations. This information can help you make decisions you’re comfortable with for your safety and that of your family, Chekijian said.

While staying informed, understand that it’s okay to ignore or stay away from content that you find particularly distressing or triggering. Setting limits in advance will help limit your exposure to the influx of alarming COVID-related headlines.

“Set aside some time to have metrics around your emotional capacity for news content,” said Naiylah Warren, therapist and clinical content manager at Real. “Maybe that means spending just 20 minutes watching the news on TV or reading just two articles a day.”

Reserve some space to focus on the positive.

It is common for news stories to focus on the disastrous impact of the pandemic, which can instil fear and helplessness. While it is important to be aware of the reality of all that is happening, IIt can help you be more selective in your media consumption and surround yourself with uplifting, solution-based stories that bring you joy. The World Health Organization recommended focus on recovery stories to promote positivity and hope.

Finding a balance between staying informed and not feeling overwhelmed by the news cycle can be difficult, but things like setting boundaries and taking breaks can have a huge impact on your mental health and well-being for the better.

Overwhelmed by COVID news? Here’s what to watch out for and what to ignore.

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