13928_1641It’s true: News fasts don’t have to happen on a time clock and they aren’t seasonal.

Really, any time of year is the perfect time of year for a news fast.

But during the winter, when lack of light and seasonal pressure can lead to symptoms of mild (or not-so-mild) depression, it’s a really extra-great time to bag the news, especially (but not only) television news. Take a break, perhaps for a week or more.

You may have a day or two of withdrawal symptoms, but then, if you’re like us, you’ll feel lighter, brighter, and more relaxed.

You might find:

1. You’ll come back to the news and the same troubling stories will still be there and little will have changed.

2. The troubling news story will have disappeared, but you can always resurrect it with an internet search. In fact, you can print out a couple of stories and read them at your leisure, avoiding the whole talking-head thing.

3. You may find yourself listening to more music.

4. You’ll have conversations with the people that you live with. (Or you can meditate. Ahhh.)

5. You won’t impulse buy as much because you won’t be viewing or hearing ads.

6. Your own, unique sense of humor will blossom.

7. If you ban media altogether, you might find yourself painting, reading, doing volunteer work, or other creative and meaningful activities.

You don’t have to bury your head in the sand.

But if you are prone to anxiety, depression, or other mood disorders, consider taking a break from the most depressing half-hour you could spend: Your nightly news report.