10 Tips for Practicing Self-Care During Election Season
Whether someone has a mental health issue or not, election season can be stressful and anxiety provoking. My own anxiety is heightened in the months leading up to elections. Constant attacks against candidates and the tactics politicians use to sway voters are often overwhelming. While I understand that we need to be educated about the people we vote to represent us, I wholeheartedly support taking time to focus on self-care and maintaining mental health.
Here are some strategies for practicing self-care during election season:
1. Download new music so you don’t need to hear as many radio or internet radio political ads.
2. When you’re with friends or family, suggest that the group avoids discussing politics. Speaking up for yourself and your needs is crucial for self-care.
3. Take breaks from scrolling through my social media. I will often mute or unfollow accounts which trigger my anxiety.
4. Re-watch some of your favorite series or movies on Netflix and Hulu. Romantic comedies and sitcoms are my go-to choices.
5. Attend virtual groups on The Mighty for extra support, skill-building and companionship.
6. Hang out with your pets (my dogs have very few political opinions)!
7. Try to get the right amount of sleep. Mental health gets unbalanced with too much or too little sleep. For me, this means getting in bed and turning my phone off at a reasonable time.
8. Reach out to your mental health provider, clinic or trusted friend if you need to talk.
9. Make a conscious effort to use coping skills which are normally helpful.
10. Take a walk, enjoy nature or just take a deep breath of fresh air.
Every day, I take time to remind myself that there is goodness and kindness in the world. Even if I can’t directly impact politics, I do what I can to help my friends, family and community. Staying in-tune with politics, government and policies are increasingly important parts of our lives. However, if I don’t practice self-care and use my coping strategies, I cannot effectively advocate for myself or issues that are important to me.
I urge anyone who is feeling overwhelmed, stressed or anxious in these months leading up to the election to take care of themselves, monitor their mental health and reach out to a mental health counselor if needed. There is no shame in taking care of yourself and being kind to yourself.
Getty image by nadia_bormotova