This past week, and year, has been a whirlwind of political debates in the midst of a pandemic. All of this on top of regular daily stressors can contribute to the heavy emotions and stress you may have been feeling for the last several months, and especially in the days leading up to the United States Presidential Election, as well as, the days following in anticipation of who our next president would be. Regardless of your presidential pick, one thing many of us had in common was something called political fatigue. Political fatigue is the mental, emotional, and physical exhaustion associated with direct or indirect political involvement. Here are some tips for combatting this problem:
Unplug - It's important to remember that you do not have to watch and listen to media outlets. You can CHOOSE to unfollow, turn off, unplug, and unfriend any platform that may be too negative or overwhelming for you at this time. You aren't a bad person, mean, or childish for choosing to protect your peace during this time. Set a time limit for how long you watch tv or scroll social media.
Set boundaries - Don't engage in political debates or discussions with family, friends, or coworkers if you aren't feeling up to it. Even with those close to us, these conversations can be very draining and can stir you up unnecessarily. Don't know how to say no? Simply say, "I don't really have the energy to discuss this right now." If they continue to press the issue, you can disengage by physically leaving the situation or not responding.
Back to Basics - Make sure you are eating, staying hydrated, and getting at least 8 hours of sleep. If you were anything like me, you probably didn't sleep very well last week waking up every few hours checking your phone to see if anything changed in the presidential projection. Use this week to ensure that you are practicing good sleep hygiene and overall good self-care.
Distract yourself - Use positive ways to distract yourself if you are feeling too many unpleasant or overwhelming emotions. Engage in your favorite activity, listen to music, cook a new recipe, exercise, read a book, or watch a funny, lighthearted tv show. My husband and I love binge watching our favorite sitcoms on Netflix to distract ourselves and help time move quicker.
Lastly, remember to talk to your counselor if you feel like things are worsening. If you don't have a counselor I suggest you reach out to one TODAY to help process your feelings surrounding the election and more! If you are in Louisiana or Georgia, I would be a great counselor for you lol.