One Anti-Racist Action You Can Take Today: Self-Care to Beat Election Anxiety

One Anti-Racist Action You Can Take Today: Self-Care to Beat Election Anxiety

By Sukie Bansal-Roberts
Benefits & Wellness Coordinator

Graphic image credit: Getty Images

As the 2020 presidential election looms, most of the country is gripped in anxiety. At this tense time in our history, and with the coronavirus pandemic stretching on longer than many of us expected, it’s more important than ever to practice self-care.

With pre-election drama building up, we all need to take a step back and de-stress. Here are some election self-care tips from mental health experts to help you navigate potentially tense political days ahead:

Remember You Are Not Alone

First, take a step back and recognize you are not the only one going through pre-election stress.

The “us versus them” mentality currently dominates, which heightens our collective anxiety and interferes with restorative processes like sleep, connection and security. Awareness that you’re not alone in this shared vulnerability is vital.

Top tip – limit your online time and explore your feelings about the election in a safe, controlled environment.

Tap into Your Support Network

Surround yourself — virtually or in-person — with a network of safe people. For example, plan a watch party in advance where friends and family agree to certain guidelines, so everyone is in a safe space within this chaotic environment.

Being able to process what’s going on with like-minded people will help reduce your election anxiety.

Prioritize allowing yourself to process with trusted allies. Another ground rule could be that opinions are shared in the spirit of understanding that nobody holds “the truth.” This avoids descending into a divisive conflict of who can convince the other.

Sweat It Out

Working out is another way to beat pre-election stress. Doing physical activity is an excellent way of using up some of the anxiety and generating some endorphins.

Shift Perspective

In addition to sweating out the stress, you can shift your perspective when you start to feel too down or negative.

Immediately remind yourself of the many acts of generosity and beauty that are still going on every day. Perhaps take a small step to help the world be the better place we all want it to be. That could be anything from offering to watch your overworked neighbor’s toddler for an afternoon to making a donation.

Helping others will give you a sense of control in your world while also renewing positive connections to people.

I have attached a self-care quiz, adapted from Baldwin Psychotherapy & Consulting Services, that will help you recognize the areas in your life that you need to pay some attention to. After all, knowledge is power!

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