Another post about the election? Before you get all worried and start to refresh the map you have on your screen (I'm guilty of this myself too!), remember that your self care matters SO MUCH during this time too.
It seems as though the whole country has gone a bit crazy in the last two days while we've waited for the votes to come in. And, if you're like me, you don't really understand all that's happening in our country right now, you just see a map with a lot of red and blue in it that points to more uncertainty than this country has had in... well... a month. This has been a hard year.
So what are some ways you can focus on yourself during this election that's got everyone focused on the fear of uncertainty?
1. Turn it off
I know. It's a struggle not to know, but that seems to be the theme of everyone right now. Turn off your phone, your laptop, and your TV. Walk away from the news for a long period of time. I make the rule that everything goes off at 10:30 at night. If something big happens, I trust that I'll know when I need to know, but until then, I just feel unrest and it makes me more uneasy to keep updating with no results than to simply not expect results.
2. Distance Yourself
The world is crazy, this election is crazy, so walk away. Go for a walk, a drive, a coffee, anything! Get away from everyone and just 'be'. You'll be surprised how much good that can do you and how distancing yourself will be for recharging you. And trust me, we all need a bit of recharge right now.
3. Do Something You Love
This could be anything from working out, to baking, to simply sitting in your bed and reading a book. I feel like this election is going to be an expensive one because so many people are using retail therapy as a means to help them, but oh well. Breathe in, breathe out, and do what makes you happy.
4. Don't Engage
Hitting that dislike button or commenting on your ignorant cousin's post might seem right at the time, but you're in for a slew of political talk after you do it, so just don't start a brawl. Yes, sometimes people are clearly wrong, but let other people get in on that fight, you don't have to.
If you're upset about the posts someone is sharing, maybe unfollow them! It's okay to not support people who make you upset or get you angry. Make your social media a place that you want to experience and read on, not something that makes you cringe and avoid people and topics. If someone's around you in real life that won't stop talking politics, then leave the conversation or start a new topic. You can't change people's minds or opinions, but you can help to refocus what they're talking about.
6. Have a No Politics Rule
Let's face it: Someone in your family will disagree with you about someone you voted for. That, or they can't stop talking about someone you don't like, even if they didn't cote for him. It's no one's fault, this election is a huge deal and it seems to be all that's on anyone's mind. Maybe make a rule that you don't talk politics though. Make a safe haven for yourself and the people around you that you only talk about good and positive things. This gag rule will become especially helpful come the holidays too.
7. Choose What You Read
Be very careful about the sources you go to during this time. Make sure all the places you're getting your information from are reliable and have backed-up sources. There's no need to get stressed out about some... fake news... Choose carefully the networks and the places you put your trust in.
The main point of all of this is just learning when enough is enough. We don't know when this election will be over, but we can know when our stress will be gone. Work on stepping away from situations the second you start to feel less than ideal and the toxicity that comes with those issues will go away.
This election is so important, but so are you. We need to understand that no matter what, our mental health needs to come first. You can't make Biden win by staying up all night and sweating your fears out. You can't make a solid case for justice if you can't keep your eyes open. And you can't remain positive if all you're doing is looking at negative media.