Day 49 into your quarantine, you settle on your couch with the rest of your family for a slow night in. You're slowly flicking through channels in the dark, taking your time discussing the infection rates.
You reach into the bowl of chanachur when your mother nudges your shoulder and eyes your sibling. On the other end of the couch, your sibling's sweaty palms have lost grip of their phone, causing it to fall on the carpet and vibrate happily with notifications of the latest news updates. Staring up at their face, you see them like you've never seen before. Curled up on the sofa, they are clashing their teeth in step with their bloodshot, twitching eyes. Did something break your sibling?
The doctor you called has informed you that your brother has the symptoms of "extreme news intake". In severe cases, news completely obstructs blood flow to the brain, causing insomnia and panic. To stop further spread, she has prescribed the following.
An appropriate time
The best time to read the news is in the morning, right before you do something engaging. This might help you stop running in circles.
Don't bite off more than you can chew
Keeping yourself updated on the news is very crucial. However, rest assured, there is absolutely no need to tie yourself to a chair in front of the television. Read or listen to the news at fixed times, no more than twice daily.
Get your news from trusted news sites. Fake news can leave you confused and afraid. It is always ideal to check WHO guidelines for health and safety measures.
Self-care is the best care
Give yourself time to process your feelings if you come across something that bothers you. Bottling up your feelings does more harm than good. Talk to those who understand you. Meditation is also an excellent way to, first, get in touch with yourself, and then, reality. You owe it to yourself to be stress free now more than ever. Stop engaging with the news at least an hour before you go to bed. Do something relaxing and monotonous instead. How about reading that biography gathering dust on your shelf?
Do your part
You have more power than you realise. Upset about the lack of medical equipment or food supplies? Donate. Educate those around you on the risks of not social distancing. Stay at home, help flatten the curve, help reduce bad news.
The writer is a few days away from impulsively painting her walls. Help her choose the colours at firstname.lastname@example.org