Ok, so 2020 has been a series of events that have all of us feeling well downright tired. Whatever your view or political party affiliation, I think we can all agree that this year’s political season has left us with a sense of uncertainty and concern about what will happen post-election. Will there be civil unrest? What will happen with healthcare?
There is so much to think about, and yes, our country’s future and how we live are at stake. No wonder we are experiencing more anxiety and more fatigue? I would like to share some tips for taking care of yourself on election day to ease any unpleasant emotions you may have and get you through the day with as little stress as possible.
Take charge of media consumption:
- Be intentional about your choices.
- Be aware of which media outlets and formats you select.
- Be mindful of the impact that watching the news, versus reading the news, versus listening to the radio has on you specifically.
Notice how each format makes you feel. Some outlets are redundant in how they present the news; usually, 15 mins of televised news is enough for an update; after that, it will usually be the same information.
Count to 10 slowly before looking at social media. Check-in with yourself to identify “What exactly am I looking to get from checking social media?” Sit with the question for a few moments, then decide if you want to browse or not.
Stay true to you. Avoid allowing the intensity of the moment to be an excuse for bad habits. Keep your routine the same; refrain from setting up a “watch party” to stay up on the results. Instead, go about your day as usual and check-in from time to time on the results.
Engage in a process-oriented activity. Get lost in a good book, an art project, or write some thoughts down about how you are feeling. Create space to spend time with your family playing a game, taking a walk, or just catching up on the day’s work and school activities.
Be compassionate to yourself. This is a big one! Knowing what your “fill line” is, is essential. Pay close attention to how you are feeling emotionally throughout the day. Remind yourself of what is inside your circle of control and what is outside your circle of control. If you notice you are feeling tense, try this “STOP.”
S: Literally stop moving
T: take a physical or mental step back and take a breath
O: Observe what is going on around you to stay present with yourself and observe what is going on inside of you so you can engage in a self-soothe activity.
P: Proceed forward with a clear mind, and determine how you will be kind to you. It can be a grounding statement, or it can be listening to music, or a great podcast unrelated to the election.