As we approach this year’s presidential election, the stakes feel higher this year. Each side is more divided than ever and this can feel nerve wracking because the future is very uncertain.
2020 has already proved to be an extremely difficult year for many people. COVID-19 has altered most people’s daily lives and created a sense that we’re not returning to normalcy any time soon. Practicing self-care is essential to coping with stress, anxiety and fear as well as helping you respond gracefully to any outcome.
What is Self Care?
When we practice self-care, we improve our personal well-being by prioritizing our mental, emotional and physical wellbeing. Self-care helps you rejuvenate your stores of energy and emotional bandwidth so you can bring your best self to every situation.
In turn, this helps you build stronger relationships, enjoy each small moment and appreciate the value of your daily life. When you use self-care strategies, you strengthen your core values and build your self confidence, self esteem and resilience. Self-care helps you endure difficult situations.
15 Self Care Tips for the Election
1. Make a plan and vote early
Once you cast your vote, you’ve made your decision and you won’t have to worry about having your voice counted. Check this off your list as soon as you can if you haven’t done so already.
2. Take COVID-19 precautions seriously
When you’re out in public voting, you might face long voting lines at a polling station or you might be invited to election day parties. Remember to continue taking COVID-19 precautions seriously. This includes social distancing, wearing masks, washing hands regularly and limiting the total number of people you contact to avoid spreading germs.
3. Prepare yourself for any outcome
We can’t predict the outcome of this election, nor should we try to do so. Understanding that things could go any way helps us mentally prepare.
Mostly, it’s important not to let the outcome get the best of you. To avoid feeling overwhelmed by the outcome, decide how you will proceed even if you’re disappointed.
4. Limit your time on social media
After you’ve researched your voting decisions and cast your ballot, there’s no need to follow every political commentary. It can both feel distracting and upsetting. People are sometimes less courteous and polite online than they are in person, too. Selectively choose how much social media you consume and don’t let it eat up all of your time.
5. Set an intention each day
It’s easy to feel distracted from the things that matter most to us when politics are top of mind for everyone. Reconnect with your own personal goals and values by setting an intention each day and using it to guide you throughout your interactions. This could be something as simple as a to-do list to accomplish or to stay calm under pressure.
7. Get enough sleep
Make rest a priority. Go to bed early enough for an 8-hour period of sleep. To prepare yourself, don’t check any screen devices for an hour before you sleep. Try recounting your day’s accomplishments in a journal and meditating at the end of the day. This will calm you and help you get a fulfilling night of sleep.
8. Exercise to ease your nerves
Get your heart rate pumping to reduce any built-up tension or stress you have about the election. Try to get 30 minutes of cardio every day, even if it’s just taking a walk outside.
9. Practice mindful breathing
Whenever you feel tense, focus on slowing and deepening your breath. This helps your blood rate slow and improve the amount of oxygen entering your bloodstream. It will help calm you and improve your ability to think through situations clearly.
10. Treat others as you’d like to be treated
Don’t lose sight of the fact that your relationships matter more than politics. Treat people with kindness and respect regardless of your differences of opinion.
11. Express gratitude for the good stuff
Appreciate the positive things in your life by keeping a gratitude journal and listing three things each day that you are thankful for.
12. Read the words or biographies of inspiring political visionaries
Reading inspiring books is a great way to feel motivated to take on challenges in your own life. During this time of heightened attention on politics, consider picking up a biography or speech of a political figure who inspires you. Reading their life story or words may help you feel empowered to become more of a change maker in your own life.
13. Put things into perspective
Even though the election stakes feel high, remember that it’s just one election out of many that you’ll experience throughout your life. Focus on the things that you have the power to change and don’t worry about the things you can’t control.
14. Treat yourself to calming pleasures
Light a scented candle, put on your favorite cozy slippers and curl up to Netflix or a book. Bake some cookies or call a friend who always makes you feel great. Put on your favorite playlist and sing along. Enjoy the little things and add joyful, relaxing moments into your day.
15. Connect with others and share your emotions
Whatever you’re feeling in the lead up to the election, remember that you’re not alone. Call a friend and talk about your feelings. Hopefully, they’ll tell a joke or say some comforting words that make you feel wonderful.