Whether the results of this election goes left or right in your political favor, the next few days may leave you feeling anxious, depressed, angry, or overwhelmed. Below is a list of election self-care activities you can start putting into practice right now to help you towards mental relief:
- Take the day off: easier said than done for some of us, but if you’re able, put in that sick day.
Meditate: Turn your TV and phone off, sit, or lie down somewhere that is comfortable and distraction-free, and just close your eyes. Listen to calming music. Or if you need to hear a voice, Black Girl Meditation can talk you through your zen. A few minutes of quiet time to yourself each day can change your whole mindset. Also in our new virtual reality, sites such as WVU Medicine offer weekly virtual meditation sessions on Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays. Mayo Clinic lists other meditation activities, which include yoga, tai chi, and mantra meditation, which is repeating one word or phrase to encourage concentration. Our Royal Woman Angela Bassett perfected this practice when she portrayed Tina Turner in What’s Love Got To Do With It.
- Detox from social media: From this election season to civil unrest and let’s not forget the looming coronavirus pandemic, if you haven’t thought about taking a social media cleanse now would be a good time to consider it. There are benefits to deactivating or logging off for a day or two. For one, experts say it could help you sleep better at night, reprioritize your goals and dedicate more time for other things. And the good thing about this activity, you can check-in and check out anytime you want. Trust us, you did not miss anything important.
- Put a limit on watching the news: Of course, we want to stay informed about the election and everything else, but too much information can get overwhelming and depressing. If news coverage is causing you emotional distress, take a break. Continue to keep yourself informed, but limit your news bug to maybe twice a week or every other day.
- Do a leisure activity you enjoy: whether that is working out, reading, going to the park or beach, catching up on a new Netflix show, treating yourself to a spa day or date, working on a new project it just enjoying a glass of wine. Make it a point to do something nice for yourself once a day.
Embrace your emotions: Don’t suppress them. We have to learn, especially in the Black community, that’s OK to not to be OK. According to the Anxiety and Depression Association of America, African Americans are 20% more likely to experience mental health problems. Be open to therapy, call a friend, be patient, and kind to yourself. There are no right and wrong feelings.
- Check on your friends and family: Texts are cool, but phone calls can make someone’s day. It’s nice to let someone know you’re thinking about them. And offering that outlet to talk or vent if they need to.
- Set a bedtime: Sometimes the best coping method could be just to wake up to the news. Especially if you’ve already performed your civil duty (VOTE), there is nothing more you can really do. Set your bedtime, set your alarm, turn on a Netflix show until you doze off, and let the divine powers do its work.
There’s still time to cast your vote. Check out your local polling sites here.