How to be Mindful About Consuming Coronavirus News

Researchers and media experts weigh in on how to stay informed about COVID-19 while protecting your mental health.

Pavlo/Adobe Stock

My inbox is flooded with news about the coronavirus outbreak. Every hour, I’m hearing about how many people are infected and dying, how woefully unprepared we are for this pandemic, and how the economy is tanking. It’s enough to make my head explode with panic and dread.

Of course, I want to stay informed, and it’s important to know what I can do to help prevent the spread of the infection. How can I do that without feeling overwhelmed? Is there a better way to consume the news?

It turns out that there is, according to media experts and researchers. Taking in a constant stream of alarming news increases your stress and anxiety—and has long-term consequences for your physical health, too. The key is to balance your media diet with news stories that are more inspiring or offer solutions, and then share them with friends and family. Taking those steps will help instill a sense of hope and personal agency, in yourself and others.

Taking in constant bad news is unhealthy

Of course, we need to know what’s going…