Not all the news

I know that continually checking the news is not a great way to be.  But it has been a bit compulsive watching/listening/reading over the last couple of weeks hasn’t it?  I have been trying to limit it, but not hugely successfully I must admit.  My aim was to listen to the news just twice a day – first thing in the morning and then at 6pm, where the BBC Radio 4 news has less emphasis on commentary and only 30 minutes to get all the stories in.

Despite all of those good intentions, I have found myself checking a newspaper’s app during the day, including the rolling news feed; popping the news on the radio at lunch time; even watching the news on the TV (this is such a rare occurrence I always find it shocking).

It’s not been hugely helpful really.  Obviously, I need to know what is happening, but to be honest with myself, I can and will find out all the major changes in government advice fairly quickly.  I am chatting to a ton of people every day and someone will tell me about any major change in life.  I have set up alerts on my phone which are genuinely working to only send me the stuff I really need to know – well it’s slightly debatable whether I needed to know that Prince Charles has mild symptoms, but I do see that that was headline news at that moment.

Yesterday I had a bit of a breakthrough.  I listened in the morning, but only for about an hour.  And then nothing but the headlines as they got sent to my phone in the day. I did click through when hearing the PM and Health Sec are in isolation. I briefly checked the headlines at about 5.30pm to see if there was anything in the daily briefing, but that was it, I did not spend the early evening clicking through news websites and listening to the news.  And you know what? I felt much more relaxed in the evening.  I knew I would feel better but still good to prove it.

Today I had an afternoon nap (trying to offset the ridiculously early waking up I have been doing) and had the weird response on waking up of having to check the news.  I glanced at a paper’s main screen, no more.  It was a strange instinct on waking up though.

Now it is almost Saturday evening, not a time for news consumption, but for relaxing and finding entertainment instead.

I am very grateful to have access to news when and if I want it though as well as being able to limit it somewhat.