Self-Care During Election Season

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Site Contributor. Motivated to do most things by food.

I don’t know about you, but I am having visceral reactions to seeing Trump’s name over and over and over again in my newsfeeds and social media. How long has this been going on? Some days, I think if I hear one more thing I might throw my phone across the room. Or scream. Or pack up and move. Or cry.

So here’s a list of ways I, and you, can take care of our minds, emotions, and bodies during this time.

-Stop reading the news. Take a break even for a few hours and read a book (having nothing to do with politics), watch a light and fluffy show on Netflix, or play a game that will transport you away from feeling near constant rage and incredulousness.

-When speaking to like-minded friends, observe the line between catharsis and agitation. We’ve all been there – it feels soooo good to vent with those who agree with us and then suddenly, the feeling of agitation and frustration is back stronger than ever. There’s a limit to what we can take, even when it comes to talking with those who are on the same side. Know when you start to feel increasingly worked up and move the conversation to other topics.

-Play with babies. Or if they aren’t your thing, play with pets. Play with some kind of living thing that has no idea about any election and believes the sun rises and falls with you. Enjoy the snuggles. Disconnect.

-Post on social media about other things you care about. Whether family pictures, a funny article, or an anecdote. There will always be more clever and interesting political articles/quotes, but at some point, you have to stop engaging with them. Even for a moment.

-Read satire. The Onion is a great place to start laughing at the ridiculousness of it all.

-Go out with friends and implement a 5-10 minute cap on political talk.

-Treat yo’ self. Because self-care.

-Donate to the political campaign of your choice so you are doing something tangible and practical. Then close your computer/phone and move on to something else.

-Plan your election day as a way of reminding yourself that there is a light at the end of the tunnel! (At least in terms of election coverage. In terms of this election cycle letting the genie out of the bottle of racism, sexism, etc, well…that’s an article for another time.)

Taking a step back, or a step away, does not indicate that you are less political, or less of a citizen, or less of anything. It allows you to regroup and ground yourself so that you can take the next wave of absolute mind-numbing news.

Remember, we are all in this together. Next Wednesday, the election will be over and we’ll continue fighting on.