Election day anxiety is a real thing and it’s at an all-time high. Listen, I am stressed in ways I didn’t think possible and that’s saying something considering 2016. I’m trying to be calm about it but it’s really hard. And I know I’m not the only one who feels this way. People around me are on edge. Everything is at stake here and if it doesn’t go well who knows what that will mean for us.
So how do we get through this day without driving ourselves mad? There are 10 things I plan on doing today and throughout the rest of the week if [redacted] is reelected.
Stay Off Social Media
As much as I love Twitter I’m shutting it down by 5pm and I suggest you do the same. As much as you may want to be on Twitter all day long keeping up to date I highly recommend that you don’t. Consuming too much that’s shared about the election, especially distressing videos won’t do anything to help your anxiety. Instead, pick a single trusted news source and sporadically keep yourself abreast that way but after a certain time turn it off completely.
Go To Bed Early
With daylight savings in effect and it’s pretty much pitch black at 4pm so why not just call it a night. There’s no rule that states you have to stay up until the wee hours of the morning to find out who the winner is, and with as much stress as this election is causing why would you. Watching the numbers crawl in will only make your anxiety worse, trust me I was an emotional mess in 2016, don’t do your mind and body the way I did mine – go to bed.
Oh, and turn off your wifi so that you get no breaking news disruptions while you sleep. Which leads me to my next point…
Meditate As Soon As You Wake Up
The first thing I do in the morning after turning off my alarm is scrolling through Twitter to find out if the world is ending and it’s worth getting out of bed. Instead, on Wednesday morning I will meditate silently before I turn my wifi or television on. I want to lay in silence and enjoy the peace that my home brings me before I jump into the chaos of whatever the election results bring me. You should do the same. If you’ve never meditated before Headspace has you covered with some meditation basics. I assure you it’s not hard and you’ve done it many times before you just didn’t realize it.
Now that I’m thinking about it you might want to set your phone so that your text messages don’t appear displayed on your front screen. Don’t allow yourself to see anything before you’re mentally prepared.
Binge-Watch A Show Instead of Watching The Election Results
Instead of watching those numbers come in choose a show on your watch list (I know you have one) and watch it. A series can have between 8-10 episodes. That’s more than enough to keep all of us busy starting around 4 or 5pm or pick 4 movies to watch, whatever floats your boat. Don’t have anything on you list? Popcorn and Tequila has a great list of shows to watch when you need a break. But the goal is to watch anything but those incoming poll numbers.
Don’t Go Outside On Election Day (But If You Have To Stay Local)
I have to get some food tomorrow cause I forgot over the weekend but I’m going to stay super close. I don’t like the market around the corner from me cause it’s ridiculously high, but they’re going to get my money because I will not go any farther than that. Cause let me tell you something, the actions of those deplorable [redacted] supporters over the weekend showed me that people are unstable and they will attack you without provocation.
Don’t think because I live in New York City that I’m immune, no. There are communities here in all five boroughs that I wouldn’t deem safe as a Biden/Harris supporter or as a Black woman. That said, no matter where you are in the country if you have to go out be brief about it and get enough food to last you a few days.
As a matter of fact, if [redacted] gets reelected again (Lord please don’t let these people be that stupid twice) I would even refrain from going outside the rest of the week unless you plan to protest. In which case, please be safe.
Clean Your Space
When your space is a disaster your whole emotional well-being will be a disaster too. Turn on some music and use this time to give your place the deep clean it’s been begging you for. It’s colder now use this time to pull out your winter clothes and pack up your summer stuff. Donate anything you no longer want or anything that doesn’t fit. Rid your bathroom of products you purchased but you know you’re never going to use. Vacuum, clean windows, and dust your furniture. Leave no stone unturned.
Download Music To A Playlist
Speaking of music, make a playlist, and listen to it. The great thing about making playlists is that you can make them for whatever mood you’re in. According to Get Healthy Stay Healthy, listening to music has many benefits such as, improves mood, reduces stress, eases pain, and provides comfort among other things. As an alternative, there are a number of great health and wellness podcasts that you can give a listen to.
Ask A Family Member Or Friend To Check On You
Having someone to check on you is always a great thing. This can be in the form of asking about your well-being and/or someone telling you what the results were. I have a group chat that I live in. It’s my safe space that’s free from the outside world. Make a pact with your group chat members that you’ll keep the chat free of the results until a certain time and have one person share the results. This way you can have the support of those in it helping you get through it should the results not be in our favor.
If He Wins Again Give Yourself Time To Heal
This is so important. If this fucker wins again allow yourself time to grieve. There is no time limit on how long you have to be saddened by the news. Allow yourself to feel and go through all the emotions you’re feeling. You’re entitled to feel that way and no one has the right to tell you how long that process should take as the healing process is for you, and only YOU. You’ll emerge from your healing process when you’re good and goddamned ready.
Call Your Therapist
If he wins and your emotions are a wreck then I would absolutely recommend calling your therapist. Election day anxiety coupled with a (dreaded) reelection win would be enough for anyone to make an emergency appointment. Talking to a therapist is great because you are able to express things you can’t to your friends and family, especially if you’re the only one feeling the way you do. There is nothing wrong with allowing a professional to help you get through whatever hell we’re going to face.
Now if he loses, pop champagne – and STILL call your therapist. Why? Because this election tore families apart and you may not be speaking to loved ones and you still have to work through not having those relationships in your life.