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Cultivating resilience through self-care on Election Day

In honor of Election Day and the stress that comes with it, it seems fitting to revisit these self-care steps to help us get through the next 24 hours (and days ahead) more easily.

No matter what your political affiliation, today will be tough on many Americans. It’s important to recognize the stress that has been building throughout this harshly contested election and be easy on yourself throughout the day.

And, while it might be nice to think it will be over by the time you wake up Wednesday morning, that’s probably not going to happen.

We likely won’t have final results for several days, perhaps longer, so try not to build your expectations up anticipating them too soon.

Here are just a few ways to de-stress over the next few days. They’re excerpts taken from the Oct. 20 post, “Five signs you’re handling pandemic stress well,” but they’re equally applicable to election-related stress.

Give yourself a break

It’s always good to cut yourself some slack when the minor stuff goes wrong. But in times like these, it’s crucial. When your day breaks down, you don’t need to. Pause, consider what’s important, then give yourself the understanding you deserve.

Moderate your information intake

Most of us will agree that staying up-to-date with family, local, national, or global news is important, but too much can overwhelm us and leave us feeling helpless and hopeless. The balance comes in learning to consume enough news to feel informed, but not so much it becomes an addiction or you begin to suffer from FOMO (fear of missing out) anxiety.

This Election Day, stay informed but if you feel your anxiety rising, take a break from the news.

Practice self-care

You know these activities — eating healthy, exercising, getting plenty of sleep, meditating. All the things we know are good for us but that we don’t always do.

Today pick one and make a plan to do it. Take a walk, breathe deeply for 3 minutes, or take a moment to write down the things you’re grateful for in your life - you’ll feel better for it.

Set healthy boundaries

You might have gotten away with doing just a little too much in the past. For 2020, and likely well into 2021, saying no a little sooner than you have before is the new normal.

That’s especially important on Election Day. Be extra kind to yourself today, whether that means extra breaks or getting out for a quick stress-relieving walk.

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