How To Stop Watching The News: 5 Things To Do Instead

Recently, I talked with my folks about current events. Based on what’s happening today, they’re frustrated about the things taking place. While I share their concerns, I’m learning not to take them seriously. I’m learning how to stop watching the news, and more people need to avoid the news altogether.

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How to stop watching the news

In this day in age, bad news seems to be the norm that takes up many people’s time. Bad news can get a lot of people’s attention and distract us from fulfilling our priorities. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve been distracted by watching the news. It hasn’t been the case lately, but it was a bad practice over the years. I’ve learned not to be consumed with the latest news all the time.

Why do people watch the news?

People watch the news for many reasons. Probably the primary reason is for them to stay informed and updated. It’s this idea that they have to know what’s going on around the world. In reality, you don’t have to stay updated to be the most successful person in life. A lot of people can get ahead in life without keeping up with the news.

I use to be like that type of person for nearly the last decade. I had this understanding of needing to be informed. If I didn’t know what was going on, I’m missing out on a particular aspect of life. But now, that’s certainly not the case. I can still be successful without knowing what’s going on around the country.

Though I rely on a couple of credible sources, I may stick to researching or reading a book. What I may see on the news doesn’t paint an accurate picture of reality sometimes. It’s something I discussed in one of my most recent posts.

Better things to do: Five approaches to avoid watching the news

In this post, I’m going to lay out some approaches to stop watching the news. These days, it’s possible to get by without having to tune into the stories. These are much better solutions over consuming media regularly.

How to stop watching the news: Five alternatives to watching the news

How to stop watching the news- Fall plants

Clear your personal space

The things that you’re surrounded by at home can make a difference sometimes. You can have a TV in your living room, along with a cell phone and tablet with you the whole time. If you spend a lot of time in the living room, you’ll likely have the TV on when not busy. However, that means better chances you’ll stay glued to the TV screen.

Getting in the bad habit of having the TV on can mean exposure to more news. When you don’t need to watch the news, why bother having the TV on? I would not suggest getting rid of your TV, but maybe limit your time watching TV.

Also, limiting your time spent on your phone or tablet will benefit you as well. If you have social media apps on your phone, limit your time, or get rid of the apps altogether. It’s a good practice to try out, and I’ve managed to avoid having those on my smartphone. The mobile apps may be convenient, but you don’t need to have them on your phone.

How to stop watching the news- Social networks

Limit your time on social media (get rid of things that don’t matter)

You may be subject to all types of stories that appear on social media platforms. A lot of them may be harmful and full of bad news, which can take a drain on your time and mental health. I know I can relate to having those experiences.

In the past, I used to follow a lot of people or groups that interested me. But over time, what I saw most of the time was all negativity and hate-filled content. I knew it wasn’t suitable for me to review. It certainly was the case throughout 2020.

Instead, I’ve deactivated some of my social media accounts altogether. The few accounts that I still keep are limited to an extent. It’s nice that I can be selective on who I can follow on my social accounts.

The great thing about having social media accounts is you control what you see or not. For example, follow people or groups that make you happy. For the rest out there, you can unfollow and ignore other people if that makes you unhappy.

Change your daily routine

If you feel that watching the news is taking up your time, maybe it’s time to switch up your routine. If you’re used to watching the news when starting your day, there are other things you can do as well.

Instead of watching the news first thing in the morning, maybe go out for a brisk walk. Get out of the house and enjoy nature now and then. It’s a great way to clear your mind when you need it the most.

Another thing that I practice each day is meditation. As a regular meditator for the last two years, I’m a lot calmer and relaxed after going through my sessions. Meditation can be an excellent approach to reducing anxiety and stress. It makes for a much better alternative to watching the news.

What bothers me the most is when people don’t spend their time wisely. The time people choose to consume media could easily be time spent improving their human capital. I know this term can be intimidating; but basically, it’s all about making yourself a more valuable person to the world.

Why not use that time to make real change in your life? Ignoring or tuning out from distractions can be beneficial for your in the long run.

Take charge of your life, rather than have other people or things take control over you.

-Eric T. Seil
How to stop watching the news- Person walking

Replace it with reading or listening to audiobooks

Something that’s far much better than watching the news is reading more often. Reading books can provide you more knowledge on the issues than relying on the daily news. For example, if you want to understand a specific country or region’s history, you’ll likely gain more information from reading a book than through drive-by news.

If you’re not the biggest fan of reading, that’s ok. Whether you don’t like reading or lack the time for it, you can always listen to audiobooks. It’s a great way to save time if you’re on the go or doing chores around the house.

One service that I’ve used before provides that type of solution. If you don’t have the time to read books, I suggest you check out my Blinkist review. You can get started with a free trial by clicking on the link below.

Utilize your free time to learn a new hobby or skill

One thing that bothers me is when people don’t utilize their spare time to learn new skills. The time people choose to consume media could easily be time spent improving their human capital. I know this term can be intimidating- but basically, it’s all about making yourself a more valuable person in the world.

How to stop watching the news- Art

There are plenty of things you can do to improve yourself as an individual. Whether it’s becoming a more valuable employee or starting a side-hustle, there are many directions you can down the road. Why don’t more people choose to go down this path? Most likely, they prefer to go down the safe route over taking risks.

But either way, whatever path you go down may lead to something much better than before. If it helps you get a promotion or turn your side-hustle into a full-time business, it can pay off big time in the long-run.

If you’re interested in exploring your creativity, might I recommend you check out Skillshare. They have thousands of classes to choose from, so there’s something for everyone to choose from. Start a free two-week premium trial today.

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Watching the news may not be the best thing to do these days. Especially when it’s bad news, it drives anxiety and fear to race into your mind. It’s unnecessary to go down that route and look for other ways to use your time instead of watching the news.

The other alternatives are much better than consuming media every day. Should you stay updated on the latest news? Sure, but you don’t need to use the news as a way to satisfy your needs. If it’s not providing you value, then there’s no reason to think it’ll make your life any better.

More so, get in the habit of not watching the news so often. In my opinion, it’s better to tune out whenever possible because it’s all noise.

Are you someone who keeps up with the news? Do you struggle to manage your time consuming media and doing things that’ll make a difference in your life?

Also, here this week’s word, quote, and principle.

Word of the Week

  • Benevolent – friendly; generous; helpful

Quote of the Week

You can’t be truly rude until you understand good manners. – Rita Mae Brown

Life Principle of the Week

Commitment – The keeping of a promise or pledge 

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