This year has been stressful from the outset. A global pandemic, wildfires, hurricanes, and and unstable economy had already put most Americans on edge. Throw an extremely divisive presidential election into the mix, and it seems like 2020 is doubling down on its own "2020ness".
For most of the year, we've collectively cringed as the news, headlines, memes, and family arguments centered around the election. All of this added to the mounting stress and anxiety we've felt this year. A survey conducted by the American Psychological Association found that 68% of adults say the 2020 U.S. presidential election is a significant source of stress in their lives.
Election Day is over, but we're not done yet. The sheer number of mail-in ballots, as well as legal battles coming from the incumbent's campaign team, have cause the election results to be delayed at least through Friday, November 5. For most of us, this delay is adding to our post-election anxiety. Is there anything can we do about this?
We can't control how fast ballots are counted or when the results will be certified. However, we can control our own responses to these ongoing events. For example, checking results every 5 minutes will not make them arrive any faster, so let's all just put down our phones. 😊
Read on for more on how to deal with post-election stress and anxiety!
Focus on the Good
A positive mindset can give you improve your mood and give you hope for whatever the future may bring. We may not know the outcome of the presidential election just yet, but we did see record-breaking voter turnout and history-making results.
Here are just a few of the great outcomes we saw from Election Day:
✔︎ LGBTQ+ candidates won historic races across the country.
✔︎ Oregon became the first state to decriminalize drug
✔︎ Arizona, New Jersey, South Dakota, and Montana voted to
legalize recreational marijuana.
✔︎ Colorado voters rejected a 22-week abortion ban and approved
a paid family leave program.
✔︎ Florida voters approved a new $15 minimum wage.
Regarding the presidential election: One of the best things we can do right now is be patient. Ease the anxiety by taking a break from the news, and wait for officials to certify the results. Even if it doesn't go the way we hope, it's important to focus on the positive and cultivate joy in our lives. This means taking care of ourselves and managing stress in a healthy manner.
Practice Self Care
One of the best ways to deal with stress is to get moving. Go for a socially distant, safe walk in a park or work in your backyard garden. Aerobic exercise - indoor or outdoor - causes your body to release dopamine and endorphins in the brain, which boosts mood and reduces stress.
Here are a few other things you can do right now to help ease the post-election stress:
📱 Unplug: Put away for phone or tablet for a while.
🧘♀️ Be still: Meditate or practice restorative yoga.
📚 Read a book: Make it analog, not digital.
👩🎨 Get inspired: Do something creative like drawing or baking.
🧖♀️ Pamper yourself: Have a spa day at home.
🤙 Call a friend: But don't talk politics!
Music is another great way to calm the mind, especially soothing or chill tunes. Once you're ready to re-join the digital world, check out this Chill Vibes playlist we created just for you!
That's it for now! Take care of yourselves, check in loved ones, and be kind - always. ❤️