I am a news junkie. I’ve been a consumer of information about what’s happening in the world around me for as long as I can remember. I grew up watching my grandmother read the daily newspaper from front to back with methodical precision. We were surrounded by news magazines as children, and each day’s end was punctuated almost without fail, with our father absorbing the ten o’clock news. I have professional experience as a reporter, and this career slowly evolved into public relations work, as I found myself fascinated with the process of how news is generated and delivered.

I still read news from several national newspapers and magazines, watch a wide variety of news formats on television, see headlines as I scroll through social media, listen intently to news-driven podcasts and treat myself to online subscriptions of national news outlets. I pride myself on being informed, but during the last several months, I’ve learned something: it’s too much.

Between updates on the pandemic, dismal economic forecasts, political divisiveness and widespread unrest that seems to have everyone rearing for an argument, I’ve learned that for my own mental health, I have to be very mindful about the who, what, why, where, when and how I allow myself to scan the latest headlines.

About the Author

Anne Shaw Heinrich is the Vice President of Development for Mental Health America of Eastern Missouri. She and her husband, Bret, have three children, and live in Kirkwood, MO.