Have you thought about how to practice self care after elections? I’ve seen a few posts about dealing with stress before election day, but waking up this morning, I realized that I needed to prioritize rest and mindfulness after an election.
Whether or not your desired candidate wins, there is still a LOT to process after an election. Many people’s roles change and some stay the same. Even if your chosen candidates are elected, its possible to feel grief with ANY change—not just the changes you don’t want.
For this reason, I pulled together a few resources that might be helpful after election day…
Affordable Counseling Options
As a reminder, I have an article right here on Alison’s Notebook that discussed 11 free or affordable mental help resources. If you need professional support, you should be proud of yourself for taking action (rather than ashamed or fearful of mental health stigma).
The resource on this list that I have tried and personally recommend are 1) finding a therapist in my local area that uses a sliding scale and 2) BetterHelp, which is an online counseling service.
I wrote a very detailed review of my BetterHelp experience—you can read that here.
I am an affiliate of BetterHelp, so if you decide to try it, you might be helping to support this blog.
Tiny Happiness Project
Shameless plug here, but I also have a an online self care course called the Tiny Happiness Project.
The course takes you through several lessons that teach you the foundational tools you NEED to understand how to practice self care. This isn’t a list of “take a walk, take a bath, have coffee with a friend” (even though all those things are awesome.
These are tools like boundaries, journaling, meditation for beginners and how to create routines. By taking one tiny action at a time for your self care, you’ll eventually see huge results.
Self Care Resources
There’s a lot of awesome articles already out there about self care before, during and after elections. So rather than re-invent the wheel, I’m going to start by listing some of what I found.
Self Care ON Election Day
I know I know, too little too late since the election is over for 2018. But, use this resource next year, or take a peek at what you can incorporate now.
If you’re feeling Election Day-related stress or anxiety today, you’re not alone. According to a recent survey by Everyday Health, people in the United States are feeling a lot of stress these days. Given that there are so many crucial issues on the line with today’s midterm elections, from reproductive rights to immigration, many people might be feeling anxious today. Knowing how to practice self-care on Election Day if you’re feeling anxious about the results can help make a major difference in how well you get through the midterms.
Self Care AFTER Election Day (NEDA)
Last night was pretty stressful (to say the least), just like any election night. Many people bite their nails until all the results are in. Then there’s the waiting for your favorite candidate to give their speech, whether it be to celebrate or concede. It’s a late night on a “school nigh”, and the next day we’re all supposed to be at our best for work and school without any time to process or grieve.
NEDA (National Eating Disorders Association) wrote a great article on taking care of yourself after election night. Six of their staffers had this to say…
Gabe Gavito, Volunteer Supervisor
Don’t let a bad day or experience undermine all of the hard work and success that came before it. Bad days are lessons you need to process in order to move forward to better days.
Jasmin Ibrahim, Development Associate
Cuddle someone or something! Don’t be afraid to ask for a hug from your friends or family, or a friend’s pet. Most of them will enjoy it, too!
Caitlin Graham, Program Manager
Laughter is my favorite way to cut out tension. Thinking about one thing, nonstop, could make anyone feel nutty. Even if it’s just for ten minutes, throw on your favorite funny TV show and give yourself permission to stop thinking about whatever is stressing you out. It doesn’t mean that you don’t care about the issue, it just means that you also care about yourself and your health.
Diana Denza, Communications Associate
Just breathe – and remember that this is temporary. Give yourself time to feel and time to mourn without feeling weak because of it.
Lauren Smolar, Helpline Director
It’s okay to give yourself a break. Plan out a time to just zone out, listen to music, take a bath, take a nap, or do something else that will relax you and allow you to take a break from your daily life.
Chelsea Kronengold, Program Associate
Establish a support system of friends and family who will listen and understand what you’re experiencing. Lay off the social media. Different people will have different views, and social media perpetuates the discomfort and anxiety you may be feeling.
Self Care AFTER Election Day (TherapyInPhiledelphia.com)
America’s dysfunctions are the highlights of the news, and this article had some great advice on the grief you may feel with disappointment in people.
This is a real feeling for both sides. It’s easy to claim that the other side is motivated by hate, and that voters who vote for them are motivated by hate. It’s important to maintain empathy. Politicians are frustrating, I know. But your cousin or friend who voted for your candidates opponent… Are probably also motivated by love and a commitment to their values, no matter how much they disagree with you and how backwards you think their way of thinking is.
Try to breath through your frustration, and check out the tips this article mentions.
Regardless of the outcome and what you believe in, how are you supposed to move on after dealing with so many traumatic episodes of oppression blasted on every media outlet? Many articles and comments should come with trigger warnings about sexism, racism, ableism, xenophobia, classism, heterosexism, transphobia, immigrationism, religious discrimination, etc. It’s okay to give yourself a break from reading all of the latest news to take care of yourself.
She goes on to suggest alternatives on what you can do instead, and I highly recommend taking a look.
So…what do you do to recover from a stressful event?