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Is 2020 Wearing Down Your Nerves? How to Balance Between Being Informed and Information Overload for Your Mental Health

Shmuel Fischler, LCSW-C · October 22, 2020

If you’re like many other people in 2020, you’re feeling a little stressed. Between a historic presidential election, a global pandemic and all of the changes to the world around us, it’s hard to maintain good mental health. You want to take a break, but you also want to stay informed and not feel left out of the conversation that everyone else is having on social media. How can you strike a balance between being informed and information overload? 

What Is Information Overload?

Information overload is used to refer to what happens when someone is exposed to more information than the brain can handle processing at once. In 2020, many of us are taking in a lot of information constantly. When we are faced with so many choices and options, our brains panic and shut down. Our decision-making abilities fly out the window and we feel overwhelmed and stressed out. 

Quick Tips to Improve Your Mental Health by Balancing Your Information Intake

  1. Set Yourself a Schedule: One of the best ways to balance your information intake is by setting yourself a schedule for going on social media or news websites. Pick a certain time of day to check the news for a set period of time. If starting the day with news lowers your productivity and makes you feel stressed right away, try checking in the evening before dinner. If you currently check the news right before bed but it prevents you from getting good sleep, try only checking in the morning. In general, there is no reason to check the news more often than 20-30 minutes a day unless you need to do so for work.
  2. Pay Attention to Your Conversations: One of the best ways to balance your information intake and help the mental health of your friends and family is paying attention to the conversations that you’re having. Are you only talking about the election or COVID-19? Practice connecting with your loved ones by talking about other things instead of venting your stress to them nonstop.
  3. Look for the Positive: While 2020 has brought plenty of challenges our way, there are tons of positive stories of neighbors helping each other, strangers caring for each other and families coming together. Make an effort to seek out positive news and spend time looking on the bright side. It takes practice, but it can do wonders for your mental health.

Improve Your Mental Health With CBT Baltimore

If you are interested in seeking therapy in Baltimore, we’re here to help.  Contact the CBT experts at CBT Baltimore at 443-470-9815. We would love to speak with you.

https://nces.ed.gov/pubs2009/2009030.pdf