New week, new Monday, obviously. You can’t have one without the other.
And if it’s a new Monday, we’re continuing our journey into finding ways to start the week with a better mood, get unstuck after the weekend and ensure a smooth ride until the next end of our circaseptan rhythms.
Today, skipping news. Or at least skipping news in the first part of the day.
Ideally, you should skip news entirely, if you can. I am aware that most of our jobs are somehow related to our environment, hence the need for at least a minimal amount of news every day. For instance, traffic restrictions, or weather warnings. Or, if you’re in tech, you might be checking for zero-day vulnerabilities. If you’re in finances, you may want to see how the stock markets on the other side of the planet closed. I understand that.
But there is a certain tendency in what we call “news” which leans towards stress. News, as we consume it today, is algorithmic. Attention is commoditized and you don’t necessarily get the news that are “true”, but the news correlated with the amount of attention you sell. And not only with the amount, but with its quality. So, most of the time you get what generates the biggest amount of money for the media company.
Because of the human nature, this is almost always related to some sort of fear. Our limbic brain reacts faster than our pre-frontal cortex, and content providers are very aware of that. There are thousands, maybe hundreds of thousands of content professionals right now, working on ways to trigger a response from you faster, lowering your response barriers and making sure you maximize the time spent on their platforms. It’s very hard to escape these strategies. In a way, they get to know you better than you know yourself. I already wrote extensively about that here and here.
So, making the hard choice to ignore the news in the first part of the Monday will guarantee you’re starting the week less stressed. It may be a bit difficult in the beginning, as the feeling of FOMO (fear of losing out) will suddenly creep it, and you may feel isolated and lost for a while, but it will pass. You can always get back to news, if you have to, after a certain amount of hours.
But at least you’ll make the return on your own terms.