The Media and Your Wellbeing

We are in equal measures blessed and cursed to be living in the digital age. We can access information on any subject instantly at the swipe of a screen. Many of us would recall that as children we were restricted to the brick like volumes of Encyclopaedia Britannica or the news on just a few television or radio stations at set times of the day.

These days to get our attention, we are greeted with click-bait titles and consistent 'breaking news' banners on any device we access. Pairing this with a time of vulnerability on a global scale and we can easily find ourselves glued to screens, clicking link after link to satiate our thirst for answers, knowledge or worse, the need to pull us from disbelief.

With this, news agencies, under the pressure of tighter budgets, deadlines and lofty targets of readership are pushing out this information at faster rates than ever before often as situations are unfolding. We're quick to flick to another article or station if our attention isn't held. We can take a by-line for gospel when the context is yet to come further into the piece.

This begs the question... How do we satisfy our for factual knowledge, without being overwhelmed, anxious or stressed by all the bells and whistles of often sensationalised world events. When we are overwhelmed, it is easy to switch off. But in the case of the world we live in, we risk becoming ignorant and uninformed, which is as dangerous as sensationalised news.

Many of the current world and community events bring up more questions than answers, particularly in their fluid states. In order to do what is right for you, to aid your emotional and mental health and well being, it is critical to select your source. Household dynamics are unique to our individual families. What some choose, will not be suitable to others.

Some considerations when choosing a suitable media or news source for you and your family include:-

  • What are the emotional and mental health needs of the household?

  • Are your children sensitive to the plight or despair of others?

  • What is the structure of screen time in your household?

  • Does the source cater news relevant to your community and place in the world?

  • What reactions do you experience when watching news content?

  • Is the source reliable and factual?

  • Does the source present news in line with your values?

Children & The News

When our children are exposed to the news, even if it is in the background, we must be prepared to answer questions. They are often hearing or reading something for the first time and need context to understand the world around them, so we have no choice but to be fully informed ourselves. As touched on above, if children are sensitive to the despair of others, it is not uncommon for anxious reactions to occur in delayed response. For example, separation anxiety at bedtime for a few nights, or a change in mood (sadness, anger) as the continue to process and understand what they have learned. If this does happen, continue to make your home a safe haven for them, through fostering and nurturing their emotional journey.

Through the selective sourcing of news, you will be able to remained informed and up-to-date while handling any emotional or mental health challenges that may be triggered by select content.

Should you have any questions on how to achieve this or work through some of the challenges that world or community events are posing, please contact me to see how The Health & Wellbeing Haven can help you on your journey.

Well Wishes,

Claire @ The Health & Wellbeing Haven

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