Handling Election Stress
Dealing With Election Anxiety
Election anxiety impacted the collective consciousness this fall. It seems that the world is waiting with baited breath for the results of one of the most important presidential elections of our lifetime. And, while America is certainly not the center of the universe; what affects one, affects all. The events of this year have made that abundantly clear. So, we wait. We wait through lawsuits, intimidation attempts, and slow, slow counting. We wait through hilarious memes, overtired newscasters, and the intense emotions that we feel within ourselves.
With so much going on, it may be difficult to identify and process the emotions that we’re feeling right now due to election anxiety. Americans are still reeling from the effects of Covid-19, and systemic racism, now we’re adding a highly contentious election to the mix. It’s a breeding ground for stress, anxiety, depression, and feelings of overwhelm and helplessness. If you’re feeling this way, that’s OK! If you’re looking for some ways to manage the stress and anxiety of this election season, take a look at these tips.
Rest. We’ve said it before and we’ll say it again. Rest. You might be so used to the perpetual grind, that you don’t even know you’re tired! Watch your favorite TV program, lay on the couch with your eyes closed, or straight up TAKE A NAP. If you want more information about rest as resistance, check out The Nap Ministry.
Unplug. If you want election coverage, you got it! On your phone, the computer, or television, it’s always on. But, it doesn’t have to be! If you want to stay on top of the latest data but still want to unplug, try watching for an hour in the morning – when all of the news from the day before is reported.
Talk. If you have a safe space where you feel comfortable sharing your feelings about election stress, do that! Talking about our feelings helps us understand them better. If you’d rather talk to someone outside of your immediate circle, there are resources to help you find free therapy near you.
Self-care. This is an excellent time to establish that self-care routine you’ve been thinking about. Turmeric face masks in the morning? Or did you want to start reading that book? How about a walk with the dog and kids? Take some time to look inward. Ask yourself what you need right now and go for it! You deserve it.
Practice. Of course we know that yoga is SO much more than stretches. It can also be calm waters when the world around you is trembling. Focusing on the breath and the movement of your body calms the nerves and provides a much-needed distraction from the uncertainty of the times.
Hobby. Did someone say puzzle? Or, skateboarding, bike rides, hiking, jewelry making, antiquing, painting. Yes, put down the phone and pick up a paintbrush! You can watch hundreds of Bob Ross: The Joy of Painting episodes on his YouTube channel. But let’s be real, we all just want to watch Bob paint. Still a hobby!
Whatever you decide, please remember that the only thing that’s permanent is impermanence. We can breathe through our election anxiety and regulate our nervous system through grounding self-care practices. Embracing the moment, the change, and the future, will help to free the mind from some of the anxiety that we feel at this time.
How are you managing election stress? Let us know in the comments.