56 Things To Do Instead Of Watching/Reading The News

Wow. Some days the world feels really fucked up - those days seem to be happening more than not right now. And it can be really hard, especially as idealists and people working to put good shit in the world, to maintain any kind of hope, any kind of optimism and belief that there are good people in the world and great things do happen.

I think there’s a growing number of us who are starting to turn off the news, focus on our communities instead and on cultivating hope, not fear.

I mean, the news can be seriously addictive. And it can really contribute negatively to mental health issues - I know it definitely does for me. And this tweet really helped me:

If you find events trigger your mental health issues turn rolling news off. It doesn't mean you don't care. You're being responsible to you.

Rae Earl (@RaeEarl) November 13, 2015

The way I see it, if constantly bombarding yourself with the news makes you feel like shit, you're doing a great disservice to yourself and the world.

And I get it, sometimes it’s hard to turn our eyes away from things as start to crash and burn. But it’s also fear-inciting, completely biassed and skips the thousands of random acts of kindness that happen everyday.

So today I thought I would share with you a list of 56 things you can do instead of watching the news. (And if you find the whole idea of not watching the news the same as abandoning your fellow humans/being selfish, I recommend you read this and this).

1. Just stop watching the news. Delete the apps and avoid the websites. Do it now!

2. Instead, focus on marginalised voices that talk about the shit that really matters in a way that matters

3. Switch normal news out for good news! I love the Good News Network that features good stories from around the world to restore your faith in humanity!

4. Learn to make the best hot chocolate ever. Here's some inspiration. 

5. Day dream - this is seriously underrated and so good for your brain. David Levitin has done a lot of research on the topic which he talks about here which is fascinating!

6. Read a magazine cover to cover and see what inspires you. My favourites are Flow, Psychologies and O, The Oprah Magazine

7. Write to a friend you haven’t seen in a while, and have fun decorating the envelope!

8. Find that list of books you wanted to read and make a start

9. Get your hands dirty and create some artwork for your living space

10. Create a killer playlist that makes you want to dance your socks off

11. Self publish and start your own zine. There's a whole world of zines out there, and we need your story added to the mix. Here's a great guide to get you started!

12. If you haven’t already, discover the world of podcasts. Download and play things that interest you and light you up instead of things that make you feel gloomy!

13. Re-watch one of your favourite teenage series, and remember just how young Rory Gilmore looked!

14. Actually start that colouring book you got bought last Christmas

15. Save money on takeaways and learn to make a mouth-watering Thai/Indian/Chinese/your favourite

16. Forget your adult-ing responsibilities and get yourself a some cereal and wake up early on a Saturday to watch cartoons

17. Rediscover the angsty music you loved when you were younger and realise how much of the appeal is still there! Seriously, My Chemical Romance...

18. Learn to make something with origami paper. If you need some inspiration, check out these cute stars!

19. Write a list of places you’ve been meaning to visit in your local area and actually go to them!

20. If you haven’t got one already, sign up for your local library and save some cash and support your local library at the same time - win, win!

21. Write a letter to the author of your all time favourite book and make their day. You may just get a reply!

22. Turn off notifications from your phone and reclaim some of your time and creativity

23. Have a clean out of your pyjama drawer(s) and get yourself some new ones! (Because let’s face it, who doesn’t like pyjama shopping!)

24. Sign up to change.org or another petition website and put your name where it matters

25. Find cool shit on Youtube. I mean, you can find how to make everything ever on there!

26. Lay in the dark with your favourite songs. This must be on of the most underrated things ever.

27. Fill your empty photo frames (I know you have them!)

28. Re-watch Mean Girls or 10 Things I Hate About You to see if you still know most of the words. Just me? Okay, I know you have a film you feel the same about!

29. Make soup! It'll do your soul wonders.

30. Instead of scrolling endless sources of news, get lost in the world of colour palettes

31.  Join a Twitter chat and get to know like minded people. A great one to start you off is #CreateLounge!

32. Take the half hour or so you would have spent lost in the news bubble and dedicate it to doing very necessary things for your wellbeing, like keeping on top of doctors appointments, starting a meditation practice or dancing to Shakira

33. Get lost in the whole world of journalling and bullet journalling

34. Instead of reaching for your phone first thing in the morning, put on your favourite song

35. Watch the sunrise and listen to the birds, because how often do you really take the time to witness something amazing that happens every single day?

36. Have an online declutter and unsubscribe yourself from emails that make you feel pressured, find new blogs to read and fill your feed up with things that make you feel good

37. Take those hours you would have given to the news and learn a new skill (CreativeLive is great for this!)

38. Start your #100daysofaction to make the world a better place, or browse through what people are already doing to get some inspiration

39. Make/buy yourself a new blanket and get cosy.

40. Actually try out one of those recipe videos you keep seeing on Facebook instead of drooling over them!

41. Get offline and meet people in real life. Some of my most wonderful friendships have been with people I’ve met online and got to meet in real life. Obviously, take precautions, meet in a safe place etc, but take the courage to meet someone in real life if you can. If this isn't possible, arrange a skype person with someone you've known online for a while but have never had a good natter with!

42. Go to a market. I don’t know about you, but there’s something about going to a market that reminds me how much community means, and how there is a very real alternative to the big corporations!

43. Make a playlist on Youtube/Spotify that make you feel hopeful!

44. Get a pot plant! Or start your own mini herb garden!

45. Discover the world of craftivism and use your creative skills to be the change!

46. Actually start writing that book that’s in your head - whether it’s a novel or your autobiography. You are the sole owner of the way you look at the world, and the world needs your perspective

47. Make a cup of tea and just breathe!

48. Instead of getting sucked in to the predictable drivel of online trolls, do something to lift someone up instead

49. Make a plan of how you can start working towards your dreams, or if you don't know what your dreams are, do some soul searching! Achieving your dreams will make the world a much brighter place.

50. Start your own blackout poetry and see what happens!

51. Find some kind of morning routine that feels good to you and starts your day off right. It doesn’t have to be glamorous, it certainly doesn’t have to be instagrammable - it just has to work for you

52. Create your own Pick Me Up Box for when the world gets you down!

53. Make time for regular naps. Seriously, we are all wandering around so sleep deprived, and a nap will do more for your mental health than the news will ever do! And I made a napping playlist to help you catch some zzz's!

54. Spend time making your space one that’s inspiring and unapologetically YOU. For me, that looks like having a desk surrounded with colourful postcards and more pretty organisations things than you could shake a stick at

55. Surround yourself with inspiring and encouraging like minded women who are talking openly about what it means to chase your dreams, live an authentic life and put great shit in the world. Want to know where they are? Over on The Couragemakers Podcast!

56. Go outside and take a breath and appreciate the fact that you are alive

What have I missed? Let me know in the comments, and let's start a revolution against things that make us feel hopeless!