How to Manage Post-Election Stress
Post-Election Stress Disorder is a very real thing, especially these days. It doesn’t seem to matter which side of the fence you are on, tensions and anxiety are at an all-time high. Whether you are concerned about the future of the country, your children, the economy, health care, or having conversations with friends/family, there is a good chance you are struggling with some form of post-election stress. Add to that the uncertainty of a global pandemic, and it just might feel like your plate is overflowing.
You and your family’s mental health is important, so what can you do to combat post-election stress and breathe a little easier in the face of uncertainty?
1.) Check-In With Yourself and Get Help When You Need It
It is normal to feel stressed and overwhelmed at various points throughout your life but if the stress you feel is making it difficult to get out of bed in the morning or perform basic everyday activities, it could be time to get help. Take a moment to check-in with yourself and determine how your post-election stress is impacting the day-to-day. Are you avoiding conversations with friends or family? Are you skipping out on activities that used to bring you joy? Are you overcome with worry about the future? Are you struggling with sleep? Are you having trouble concentrating?
At CW Psychological Services we provide online therapy and counseling services to clients throughout the state of Pennsylvania. We are here to teach you healthy coping mechanisms and empower you to find calm.
2.) Limit Media Exposure
It can be easy to get sucked into the 24-hour news cycle and before you know it you are left feeling anxious, exhausted, and overwhelmed by all the negative information being sent your way. Instead, set a time limit for yourself to take in the news. Turn off your news alerts. Allow yourself to watch the nightly news or a few minutes of a morning show, or read the newspaper with your morning coffee. Then, call it a day.
Also, pay attention to how you feel when you are on social media. If social media networks are making you feel down, limit your time. Don’t act impulsively with comments and statements, that will just lead to more of a headache. And, definitely be mindful of media consumption leading up to bedtime.
3.) Turn Your Stress into Something Productive
Sometimes the best way to de-stress is to channel those feelings into something positive and productive. Maybe there is a project you have been meaning to work on, use that stress energy to get to work. Instead of wallowing in misery, channel those feelings into helping others. Yes, you might be concerned about the future of the country but that doesn’t mean you can’t help others right now. Maybe it is cleaning out closets to donate unused items to people in need. Maybe it is raising money for charity or volunteering for a meaningful cause. There is so much need in the world, any help is good help.
4.) Set Boundaries With Politics
It is easy for political conversations to go south and get heated, building wedges between yourself and those you care about. You don’t have to agree with your friends or family on politics, but that also means you should avoid topics surrounding politics. Set ground rules before family/friend gatherings and make everyone aware—conversations involving politics are off-limits. If you do decide to talk politics don’t make it about convincing someone to change their position, rather make it about trying to understand other points of view.
5.) Practice Self-Care
The number one thing you should be doing, now and always, is taking care of yourself. Practice healthy habits—eating right, getting sleep, unplugging from media, and exercising. Whatever self-care looks like for you, don’t forget to do it. Doing things that help you feel your best equip you to handle the uncertainties and unrest of the future.
Work on self-awareness. If you are feeling spent from an afternoon of election talk, cut yourself off. Binge-watch your favorite funny TV show, bake, listen to music, play video games, or get lost in a good book to take your mind off of everything else.
And, get help when you need it. It is ok to be struggling with all that is going on. It is ok to not be ok. You are not alone.
Searching For Online Counseling In Pennsylvania?
Counselors at CW Psychological Services are professionally-trained and licensed. We have openings for online, or telehealth, therapy appointments. Email us at [email protected] or call at (610) 308-7575. We are here for you.