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Stressed About the Election? Here Is a Self-Care Plan to Keep You Sane

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Election Day is finally here, which for many, brings an avalanche of mixed feelings. Elections are normally stressful enough, but 2020 has been a whole different ball game. In a year that has been filled with violence, division, and sickness, most of us already feel like we’re at the end of our rope.

Not only are we anxiously awaiting the results of the election to see where our country is headed, but we are also worried about how the country will react to our new president, whoever that is. Reports of President Trump refusing to accept the election’s outcome and radical groups preparing for violence have us all on edge–and for good reason.

And while we don’t have much control over world events, we have complete control over how we respond to them. Here is a self-care plan to keep you sane this Election Day.

Commit to Not Obsessively Checking the News

This election season seems to throw us a curve ball every second, so it can be tempting to keep checking your phone or TV for updates. This type of obsessive behavior is detrimental to your mental health. Remember–the news will still be there in 5 minutes, one hour, or 24 hours. Besides, we probably won’t have the results by Wednesday night anyway. Instead, commit to connecting to the here and now without distraction.

Consume Positive Media

If staying present in the here and now feels impossible on Election Day, then distracting yourself is a solid alternative. Allow yourself to indulge in a mindless romantic comedy or a page-turning YA book to give you the positive escape you need. Sometimes, living in a different world for a few hours can boost your serotonin levels enough for you to get back to baseline and tackle whatever the world throws at you.

Touch Base With (Reasonable) Friends

“Reasonable” being the key word here. If you have a friend who tends to catastrophize and see the worst in every situation (and we all have a friend like that), this week might not be the best time to connect with him or her. Instead, reach out to friends who are steady and drama-free. Most of us have at least one friend who doesn’t let the chaos of the outside world effect them. Have a Facetime session or an appropriately socially-distanced one-on-one friend date with that person.

Schedule a therapy appointment

If you are still feeling anxious and you don’t happen to have a therapy appointment in the upcoming days, reach out to your therapist to put one on the books. If you don’t have a therapist, take this as an opportunity to research and reach out to one. Investing in your mental health is the smartest investment you can make.

So yes, the future is uncertain, but that doesn’t mean the way you react to it has to be. If you commit to having your own emotional back, then you know you’ll be at okay no matter what happens. Just having that peace of mind can make all the difference.

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