Feature Image by Maxim Ilyahov

You go on social media hoping to read something interesting or fun, then boom, you’re hit with yet another depressing headline. You don’t want to bum yourself out, but now you have to click because the suspense is almost worse than not knowing, and before you know it, you’re headed down an online rabbit hole of doom. 

Sound familiar? This is sometimes known as “doomscrolling,” and it’s a trap that’s become especially easy to fall into since the pandemic. Here are some tips to help you avoid the temptation of doomscrolling.

Limit your time reading the news.
“Historically, there were traditional news broadcasts that were time-limited,” explains Dr. Allison Chase, a psychologist with Pathlight Mood and Anxiety Center. “Now, there is an endless barrage of news available anytime anywhere. It is left to us to establish these boundaries on our own.” One way you can set boundaries is by using an app or plugin that will limit how much time you can spend on a given site, like the Chrome extension BlockSite.

Seek out positive news.
Chase also suggests finding sites that contain only positive news or funny stories (or even cute videos) to satiate your craving for internet browsing without putting you into dangerous territory. 

Reach out to a friend.
Doomscrolling is often a search for connection,” explains self-love mentor Jonathan Troen. So, instead of turning to the internet for that, call or text a friend when you feel tempted to doomscroll. “That person that keeps popping up in your head, and you tell yourself, ‘I should really call her’ — make this the time to call that person,” he suggests. “You’ll get the connection you’re looking for. And a bonus, you might just make the other person’s day and stop them from doomscrolling.” 

Be thoughtful about who you follow.
If you’re consistently hearing depressing news from certain websites or social media accounts, clinical psychologist Erika Martinez, Psy.D., CDWF recommends unfollowing or muting them. You might also want to stop following people who go on rants that leave you worrying, she adds. “Their posts are their opinions; don’t confuse it with real news.”

Practice mindfulness.
Mindfulness activities include not only meditation but also things like cooking, exercising, and taking walks, says therapist and life coach Kati Meyers. “By utilizing mindfulness, we can achieve lowered blood pressure and heart rate, minimize psychological distress, and become better able to focus on and pay attention to whatever we are doing at that moment without being preoccupied [with] the incessant flood of stimuli on our phones.”

Do you have any tips on how to stop doomscrolling? Let us know in the comments below!

xx, The FabFitFun Team