It's midnight and you can't put your device down. You scroll through the neverending posts of bad and even worse news, wishing for a ray of hope so you can finally get to sleep. The practice has become christened doom-surfing or doom-scrolling-- or more positively, hope-questing. Whatever you call it, it can harm your mental health!
What can you do about this?
1) Realize you are doom-scrolling. Our minds are wired to look out for the survival threats, yet the current state of affairs offers a boundless rabbit hole of worries through our devices. While not all news consumption is harmful, pay attention to the effect it has on you, especially before bedtime.
2) Limit exposure. Keep tabs on your social media usage with a productivity app. Turn off notifications. Delete toxic apps. Have device-free times of day.
3) Take control and set boundaries. Manage access to your device by not keeping it always handy-- and don't pick it up on a whim to check the weather or a text, as it's all too easy to start looking at other feeds. Consider a self-imposed break from inflammatory websites, social media accounts, or your device.
4) Replace doom-scrolling with healthy behavior. Read a book. Do puzzles or play games. Go for a walk or run. Clean the house. Make tea. Journal. Call friends or family. Or if you really need to look at your device, end your night with kitten or puppy videos or something else that's guaranteed to put you in a good mood.
These are four ways to start cultivating a healthy sleep routine that will grant your body and mind the rest it needs. Don't fall into doom-scrolling. Allow this year to be a year of breaking all bad habits!