How to Cope With News Anxiety as a Teenager

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Audrey Ryder, Reporter

Over the past few months, it has been very common for many teens across the country to pull up their preferred news site with dread and anticipation. It has been a year of massive upheaval and unrest, much of it centered around the political climate. As a result, a great deal of the news can be terrifying, infuriating, or worrying. As teenagers growing up in such a turbulent time, how does one cope with stress caused by the news?
To start, how many times a day do students check the news? Dylan Chan, a 10th grader, admits he checks the news “probably… five different times” each day, using the news app or Instagram to get his daily dose of information. Another 10th grade student, Juliana Newton, checks the news “once a day to once every two days” on a variety of sites. However, an anonymous ninth grade student only checks the news “once a week” using the news app. 

Despite this range of frequency, all three students reported a similar feeling of dread or worse mood after reading the news. Sophomore  Gabby Moon “[checks the news] every day on Instagram, and… feel[s] worse after because it’s depressing.” Chan echoes her, saying his moods are “probably worse” after reading what’s going on in the world. 

Considering the overwhelming amount of crises, protests, trials and tribulations pushed onto our media feeds every day, who could blame them? Despite this, students have solutions to these feelings of despair. Chan recommends, “Try to mix in a few happy articles a day… or some other type of news source that brings in good news, just so it’s not all bad.” It is easy to scroll through the news app and feel hopeless seeing all the divides in the nation, so try to mix it up! 

It may also be beneficial to read articles from publishers you normally would not, and try to find things that interest you, rather than enrage you. Newton advises “running or working out, doing other healthy things” in order to take a break from the grueling anxiety of modern day news. Exercise is a wonderful way to take a breather, process, and feel like something is going in a positive direction. 

An even simpler solution is to take a break from reading the news at certain times, maybe regulating yourself to once or twice a week rather than every day. You could also consider discussing the news with your friends to process better, as well as add a little humor to a dark time. In short, take a break! The news is depressing at times and it is easy to be overwhelmed. Make sure to be kind to yourself and know when you are at your limit.