How to Manage Election Day Stress
posted on October 14, 2020 | by Kelley Matney
We are mere weeks away from the next presidential election. As we inch closer and closer to November 3rd you may be feeling your anxiety levels increase. Trust me, you are definitely not alone! No matter where you fall on the political spectrum, this campaign season has been grueling. The news cycle feels constant, with major events happening every few days that seem to take up all of our mental space and energy.
For many Americans, it feels like this election has a lot more riding on it than previous presidential races. The anticipation of the final results is enough to push anyone over the edge. Here, a few tips to help you cope with election stress.
Make a Voting Plan
Many of you have voted already through mail-in, absentee, or early voting, which is great! But if you haven’t, make sure you have an Election Day plan. The pandemic has changed a lot about the voting process and a voting plan is exactly what it sounds like—a plan of how and when you will vote ahead of Election Day. Here is a good resource for more information.
Limit Daily News
Let’s be real, 2020 has been a never-ending cycle of bad news. Between COVID 19, forest fires, and the ongoing and systematic violence against Black people and other minorities in this country, it feels like one thing after another. While it is important to stay informed, the 24-hour media cycle can take a toll on your mental health. Create a news routine. Plan a specific time of day, like in the morning when you wake up to set aside a block of time while you eat breakfast, or whatever works best for your lifestyle. But then—and this is very important—set a time limit on your news intake, so you’re not doom scrolling for hours. Find news outlets you trust and always fact-check.
Set Social Media Boundaries
Like with the news, consider setting boundaries for social media. If you didn’t realize this already, social media causes anxiety. No matter how much we love it, it stresses us out, especially now. It feels like millions of voices screaming into a void. Our time would be better spent having meaningful in-person conversations.
Take Control of What You Can
Anxiety is typically caused when we feel as if we have no control over the outcome of a given situation; hello 2020! But there are ways to take back a little bit of control and have an impact on the outcome of this election. There are so many ways to get involved, phone bank for your candidate, help register voters, or sign up to be a poll worker!
I know the stakes feel higher than ever during this election and to be honest, you are not wrong. Hopefully these tips will help you to cope with the stress until November 3rd and prepare you to keep up the fight after the election because the work is just getting started!
Image by Kristen May Crafts