With the presidential election looming over everyone’s heads, it’s easy to feel extremely anxious and overwhelmed. We’ve been feeling very apprehensive too, especially since this year’s results are going to take a bit longer than usual. If you’re feeling stressed, keep reading for some tips on how to cope with this year’s election.
1. Talk it out
Having a friend or family member to talk to about your stress can be extremely helpful. You don’t need to discuss political views, but can share your worries and fears with one another. Or, chat about something completely unrelated like a movie you’ve just seen, your holiday plans, school, work, your favorite recipes, etc.
2. Take a break from social media and the news
It’s very important to stay informed, but try not to refresh your social media accounts every time you finish scrolling through posts. If seeing election related posts becomes too much to handle, put your phone down and find a distraction such as coloring, cooking, organizing, etc. Whatever activity helps you to destress.
Try not to post impulsively on your own social media accounts. Take a short break before posting and be ready for people to disagree with you. If it works for you, try setting more specific boundaries such as “I won’t check social media or the news after 8pm every day.”
3. Prepare for delayed results
Don’t expect to receive immediate results after election day. It could be days, or even weeks, before the winner is announced. Plan ahead for the uncomfortable gap, and do things that keep you from feeling too overwhelmed in the meantime. Schedule a time to catch up (virtually!) with old friends, crack open a new book, or start that TV show you’ve been meaning to watch since quarantine began.
This is especially true here in Pennsylvania, where absentee ballots will not be processed until Election Day.
4. Don’t put self care on the back burner
Keep yourself physically and mentally healthy. Getting enough sleep, eating nourishing foods, and partaking in joyful exercise is more critical than ever in times of great stress. If you’ve got a good self-care routine going, stick with it! If not, this is a great time to create one. Maybe even do a couple extra things for yourself. Bake a delicious treat, do a face mask, Door Dash a local restaurant and have a movie night, or take a long bath.
5. Create boundaries with family and friends
Sometimes, talking about the election with family and friends can end in hurt feelings or heated arguments. If this is the case, it may be better not to do it at all. However, in an article from Healthline, journalist Simone M. Scully says “if you do decide to discuss politics, don’t do it to convince anyone. Do it to better understand a differing opinion.” Especially with Thanksgiving coming up, make a plan with loved ones to ensure no one ends up feeling hurt.
6. Don’t lose hope!
Regardless of the election’s outcome, it’s important not to despair. All or nothing thinking will not be helpful, and it’s important to keep everything in perspective. Find small pieces of hope wherever you can. We’re feeling hopeful because it seems like more people are voting! According to the U.S. Elections Project, in 2020 voters have already cast 70% of the total votes counted in 2016!
See the links below for additional information regarding the election and voting!
We’re with you Greensburg, and we will get through this! Make sure you get out there and vote!