A recent survey from the American Psychological Association found that this election is a significant source of stress for more than two-thirds of American adults. For many of us, the only stressor outpacing the pandemic is the potential outcome of November 3rd, but as much as there is election anxiety, there are also solutions! Here are some calming questions to check in with yourself and quell election distress.
- What’s happening in my body and mind today? Assessing how our anxiety is impacting us is the first step to addressing it. What feelings is the election bringing up? Is it impacting your sleep? Naming these emotions will help you ease them.
- What can I do to soothe myself? Whether it’s meditation, exercise, yoga, cooking, or just watching your favorite movie, engaging your most soothing habits is far more effective than suppressing your anxiety.
- Am I reading good news? This is a big one for us at The Optimist Daily. Negative or click-bait headlines can exacerbate feelings of anxiety while ignoring that there are good things happening out in the world. Brush up on solutions to some of the world’s biggest issues by starting your morning with The Optimist Daily.
- When do I feel good about the election? It’s not all bad, right? Perhaps a relative who doesn’t usually vote is casting a ballot this year or you read a heartwarming story about human compassion. Pay attention to whatever gives you hope about the country’s future and seek it out.
- What am I grateful for today? Gratitude is a major tool for boosting emotional wellbeing. Reflect on what you have to be thankful for and let it fuel your resilience.
- How can I connect with others today? This one is tough in the age of the pandemic, but connecting with others reminds us of why we are trying to build a better world and improves our mental health.
- How can I make a difference? Whether it’s volunteering as a poll worker, voting early, calling potential voters, or just donating to a candidate that represents your moral values, we all have things we can do to make a positive contribution towards the democratic process. Getting engaged and using your skills to make a difference will also give you a sense of autonomy in an election cycle that can feel out of control.
- What do I want the world of the future to look like? And how can I help this happen? Imagining the ideal world of the future can be difficult when it feels like we’re just fighting to survive another day, but thinking big helps us contextualize the current moment and see the larger picture of what we’re working towards. Create a vision for the future and take steps to help achieve it. Gardening, volunteering in your community, helping out a neighbor, or reducing your plastic consumption are all great ways to start making a difference today!
Election anxiety is real. At this tumultuous time in the US, political stress can feel like it’s taking over your life, but grounding ourselves with these key questions is a great solution for putting everything in perspective and reminds us of our larger goals.