According to an APA survey, 70% of respondents said the 2020 election is a significant source of stress for them. It’s important for us to prioritize our emotional and physical health during these challenging times.
Consider the Positive Aspects of your Life
What parts of your life will continue to be satisfying regardless of the election outcomes? Can you identify the interests, talents, or positive habits that can become a source of strength during these times? For example, are you resilient and able to bounce back during hard times? Are you able to use your sense of humor, mental attitude, determination, athletic ability, or something else? Sometimes recalling past situations or struggles that you overcame can help you remind yourself of your resilience.
Actively manage your Stress
Can you keep yourself safe and healthy by prioritizing your self-care? Establishing predictable routines can give you a sense of control over the things that you’re able to control, while trying to let go of the things that you can’t control.
Try to focus on the present moment, whether you are with a friend, taking a walk, watching a show, etc. Focus your attention and energy on being fully present. Practicing this type of mindfulness, even for 10-15 minutes can relieve stress on your mind and body.
Meditate to center yourself. Meditation clears your mind, may help lower blood pressure, and reduce symptoms of anxiety and depression. Take a few minutes and visit our Virtual MindSpa (oberlin.edu/counseling/mindspa) to try a guided meditation.
Be Mentally Prepared. In this year’s election we know the outcome will be delayed. Realistic mental preparation can help manage our expectations.
Be social - Connect with your friends and loved ones. This can be a healthy way to buffer the election stress. Plan safe and socially distanced visits. If that makes you uncomfortable and you’re suffering from Zoom fatigue, try calling a friend or relative.
Limit your focus on politics, and take a break from the media. The 24/7 news cycle can be exhausting and overwhelming. It’s important to take breaks to avoid mental overload. Try to designate specific times of the day or evening to unplug and not check the news or social media.
Nurture yourself with delicious, heathy foods, centering activities, or a long walk, take some time to be extra kind to yourself. This may involve social interactions or may be a solo venture. For some, reading a good book is soothing, for others listening to their favorite music works better. Whether it’s nature, art, or a cup of coffee – treat yourself well.
Stressful times make some people more vulnerable to substance use, alcohol, food misuses, and more. Make sure to turn to supports that have helped you in the past – whether professional, groups, or friends and family to prevent relapses.
Contact the Counseling Center at 440-775-8470 if we can help.
Adapted in part from MindWise Innovations, a service of Riverside Community Care