Self-Care Strategies For Getting Through Election Day

Well, we’re here, at the end of this horrific election. All we have to do is survive these next few hours until, for better or worse, this thing will be over. But getting over the finish line intact when so much is at stake and when we’re already so fatigued feels like an already impossible task. So if, like me, you are at risk of Election Day Meltdown, here are some self-care tips that might just get you through this.

Gather Ye Funny Videos

Find whatever makes you laugh hardest and keep it close today. If you are one to obsess over the election returns as they trickle in, try a 1-to-1 ratio of election returns and funny videos. Every time you check those results, balance them with a funny video.

Get Outside

Get outside during the day if you can, for a walk or a ride. Even if it’s raining — especially if it’s raining. If the weather’s shitty it’s hard to be nervous about the election because you’ll be too busy being upset about the weather. But the movement and the fresh air and all the different things to see and hear outside will help. Sitting in your office or your home will not. If it’s beautiful outside I guess that’s fine, too — whatever, people not living in Seattle.

Really Look At Your Ballot

I know — how is this supposed to help? Well, it’s important to remember that there is more than the presidential race in your ballot. There’s a good chance you are also able to vote for some kickass progressive change (or at least have more power to prevent local horrors) on your ballot. A close look at my ballot reminded me that I get to vote for higher minimum wages, protecting domestic violence victims from gun violence, judges who are fighting racial bias in their courtrooms, getting big money out of future elections, and so much more.

Don’t Drink Too Much

I’m not one to say that “alcohol isn’t the answer” — sometimes it does just fine for me. But as someone who has suffered from anxiety her entire teen and adult life, let me tell you this — excessive alcohol will NOT help your election anxiety.

All that a bunch of alcohol will do when you’re already anxious is remove whatever grip on reality you had that was keeping shit together. It will end in heightened fears and likely some tears. I’ll probably have a drink or two, but I’m keeping a close watch on myself, so I don’t let my anxiety talk me into the drinks that will talk me into full blown panic. I do however firmly believe in the power of candy to get through all stressful times.

Check In With Friends

If you’re feeling really scared, it’s okay to say “I’m feeling really scared.” Trust me, you are not alone. And sometimes, hearing, “me too” is enough to remind you that you have people who will get through this with you.

Keep The Rest Of Your Day Simple

Remember, stress has a cumulative effect, so don’t allow anything else to take from the reserves you need to get through this final election push. If you can cancel meetings, cancel them. Don’t pick today to tackle any sensitive personal or professional issues. Get McDonald’s for the kids. Do the laundry another day. Try to let your mental and physical needs run your day so that you have enough energy to fight the doom voices in your head.

Recognize Your Community

It’s really easy to feel like everything will fall apart if Trump wins this thing. Now is a good time to take a look at your community — no, not just your neighbors — I’m talking about your spiritual and social community. Look at the people around you fighting for justice and peace. Look at the people who provide you love. Recognize that they will still be here November 9.

So there you have it — my tips for getting through this final stretch of this election mess. Remember, this election is bigger than this one race, and our society is bigger than this one election. Be kind to yourself and know that we will get through this together.

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Lead image: flickr/Doug Belshaw

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