Politically Anxious? Here are some ways to get through…
As we press on through Election Night, here is some advice from mental health professionals on how to cope as we wait for the results to come in and the days and weeks after.
“For the body: stretch and take deep breaths. We’re all bracing ourselves and holding on embodying a lot of tension. Stretching and breathing will help to release some of the tension. Assess your capacity for how much of the news and social media you can handle; step in and out as you need or can handle. For your senses: listen to your favorite playlist, watch your favorite shows/movies, talk to your favorite people, bake something delicious, and light your favorite candles. For your soul: rest and hold on to hope. Don’t lose sight of hope. Whatever the results, commit yourself to continue to resist and the fight for justice.” – Dieula Previlon, Co-founder of Soul Reparation
“As trauma survivors, many of us are still learning how to self-regulate. Here are some quick grounding examples to reduce levels of distress as we anxiously await the results of the election. Practice Mindfulness. Name the emotion you are feeling right now and “where” you feel that emotion in your body. Take a deep breath to the count of four, hold it to the count of five, exhale to the count of six. Repeat. Give yourself permission to take intentional breaks from the news.
The key is to take a mindful moment to unplug. Replace it with board games, music, a good movie, or even a cat nap. Practice holding time. If you have a partner, sibling, or trusted friend with who you feel most comfortable and safe, allow them to hold you as you share your heart. There is something to be said when someone physically sits with you in your pain, as you process out loud, as you lament. Let them hold you through it as you release tension from your body. The “holder” simply listens.” -Hermeisha R. Hopson, LCSW Clinical Director and Certified Trauma Therapist at Refuge Counseling Wellness Services in Jacksonville, NC
“Make a plan to speak to someone, sit with someone, or just be with someone on Tuesday and the days following. When you find yourself feeling angry in the coming days, I’d encourage you to rewrite a Psalm in your own words. Then, do something active – take a walk, do some pushups, practice yoga, or shoot some hoops. The energy of stress needs a physical release in the same way that it needs an emotional one.
Be intentional about this coming week and the days following. We are all weary, and many of us want this to just be over with, but ignoring a problem never makes it go away. For the sake of your mind, body, and soul, decide to be with safe people; singing, remembering, and turning your trust to the God who will not let you down. Make a plan right now to do at least one of these things with your closest friends.” – Branden Henry, MA, MA MFT/C, LPC, LMFT, CSAT, EMDR II, Red River Counseling