WASHINGTON — Feeling a little overwhelmed by the news lately? You’re not alone.
“So many things are happening that it does seem like, ‘Wait, how can all this happen in one week?’” said Scott Talan, a communications professor at American University and a former news reporter.
In the span of just two weeks, the Trump administration has seen its communications director suggest the chief of staff should be under investigation, only to have that chief of staff resign and replaced with a new chief of staff who fired that communications director.
Oh yeah, and there’s now a grand jury investigating whether the Trump campaign colluded with Russia during the election.
“It does seem overwhelming and people can indeed become stressed out because it’s one thing after another with no resolution,” Talan said. “It’s like a soap opera that introduces multiple characters and you don’t know what’s happening to them.”
There have been studies that suggest the media and news coverage can add stress to people’s lives.
But, Talan suggests there are some ways you can make the news a bit less stressful.
“I would say get your Zen on and take a step back and realize that however it is now, it will pass,” he said. “Maybe look at the notifications you get [from the media] and tone them down. Don’t get them all the time.”
A constant stream of notifications on your phones about every news story can add to your stress levels. There is also a tendency for the media to hype every story.
For example, Talan pointed to the fact some cable stations will have the phrase “breaking news” on the screen with literally every story they air for hours at a time.
“I think for people to take a step back and say that when you see something, even if the news says ‘Hey, this is big and important,’ is it? And if it’s not skip, over it,” Talan said. “’Do I need to know this? Do I need to read it all? Can I just read the first third of the story and then move on?’ Yes.”
Of course, to find that out you’d have to read through all of this story.