DEAR HARRIETTE: I was obsessed with politics last year, so much so that my husband and children didn’t want to stay in the same room with me because I constantly had cable TV on, watching one political talk show or another. I do not work in politics, but I got so concerned about the stuff that has been happening that I wanted to stay on top of it. I realize now that I went overboard. How can I remain in the know without becoming obsessed? I feel bad that my family doesn’t want to spend time with me anymore. -- Seeking Balance, Pittsburgh
DEAR SEEKING BALANCE: Cable news networks enjoyed huge audiences in 2017 thanks to the constant barrage of inflammatory material that fueled daily commentary. While you are not alone, you are wise to figure out how to curb your political news addiction. Consider reading news sources -- including newspapers and websites -- at a particular time of day. Reading is not noisy and does not automatically distract others.
As far as watching your favorite political shows, give yourself a timeframe when you can watch. Outside of that window, either turn off the TV or switch to a more neutral channel. If your shows do not air within that time slot, tape them to view later. Tell your family of your intention to spend more quality time with them and away from politics. Then work at having engaging experiences with them. Everyone will benefit.
(Harriette Cole is a lifestylist and founder of DREAMLEAPERS, an initiative to help people access and activate their dreams. You can send questions to email@example.com or c/o Andrews McMeel Syndication, 1130 Walnut St., Kansas City, MO 64106.)Read more in: Family & Parenting | Mental Health | Addiction