Are You A Cable Addict?
By Rebecca Coates Nee
October 15, 2001
Iím back in my old newsroom but now itís in a high rise near
the remains of the World Trade Center. The Goodyear blimp
zooms past us to wipe out the rest of the rubble. We try to
escape down the stairs but weíre told we have to stay and
work. More planes start coming toward windows all around us.
This is what happens when you watch too much war coverage
right before you go to sleep.
Much of the American public has been affixed to their TV sets
since the Sept. 11th attacks, but the rate of cable addiction
is particularly high among former and current broadcasters.
Then we wonder why weíre having nightmares and trouble sleeping.
A producer friend of mine once read a newspaper article on
how to reduce stress. The advice: "Donít watch local news.
Itís very depressing."
Not watching the news in these turbulent times obviously isnít
an option for broadcasters. But a lot of people are staying
tuned to CNN or MSNBC even when theyíre not at the station.
After all, they NEED to stay informed so theyíll be better
prepared to go after the sixteenth local angle tomorrow. But
when does watching All-The-War-All-The-Time become an unhealthy
A person who isnít sleeping well or leading a balanced life
outside of work isnít going to make a very productive worker
or happy person the next day Ė in broadcasting or elsewhere.
One of my favorite books for those of us searching for a life
is "The Monk Who Sold His Ferrari" by Robin Sharma. Itís sort
of a guide to enlightenment for dummies.
And like the other stress-management experts, one of the authorís
secrets to a happy life is ó you guessed it ó donít watch
the news before bedtime: "The ten-minute period before you
sleep and the ten-minute period after you wake up are profoundly
influential on your subconscious mind," Sharma writes. "Only
the most inspiring and serene thoughts should be programmed
into your mind at those times."
What you put into your subconscious mind is what will come
out. We canít cut ourselves off from whatís going on around
us. Instead of turning on the early shows when the alarm goes
off, write in a journal or watch a sunrise. At night, listen
to relaxing music or read a book thatís good for your mind
and spirit. You donít have time for that? Ten minutes is all
it takes. Try it. Sometimes just the simplest rituals help
keep us focused on the big picture of our lives.