Regardless of age, gender or socioeconomic status, stress from the 2020 election affects millions of Americans of all political stripes. Our divided political climate, social media, sensationalist 24-hour news cycles, and the internet can make stress and worry feel inescapable. These tips from the counselors at Kayenta Therapy can help you cope with your feelings and develop habits that make you feel more grounded and less worried about post-election news and other issues going on in the world and in your life:
Cut Down on Screen Time
If the constant barrage of opinions and information on social media, TV and the internet make you feel stressed, it’s vital to limit your media consumption. Take a time out to do something you enjoy, whether it’s going for a walk, calling a friend or reading a (non-political) book.
Avoid Engaging in Arguments About Political Issues
Whether you’re exchanging barbs with a stranger on social media or arguing with a family member about politics, it’s important to remember that you’re probably not going to change the other person’s mind. If these types of conflicts cause you to become anxious, depressed, angry or stressed out, it’s probably best to avoid them altogether or significantly reduce the amount of time you spend talking about politics. If you’re experiencing serious divides with loved ones, family counseling at Kayenta Therapy can help.
Don’t Worry About What Might Happen
None of us really knows what the future holds. Worrying about what could happen only leads to more anxiety and may even cause you to stress about other things that are currently happening in your life. When you find yourself catastrophizing or predicting a worst-case scenario, take some deep breaths, step back and think about what you can do to make a difference for yourself and others right here and now.
Although presidential elections receive a lot of media coverage, getting involved in local issues you care about is how you actually witness the fruits of your labor. Channeling worry into positive action can be fulfilling and make you feel better about yourself and the world. Volunteer in your community, advocate for an issue you support or run for local office.
Remember that Life Goes On
It’s critical to remind yourself that although some of the things that politicians do will have an impact on your daily life, the chatter that goes along with political campaigns shouldn’t. Focusing on taking care of your mental health, turning to a spiritual practice, spending time with loved ones, and even taking up a hobby you enjoy can bring you back to “real” life and help you feel more content. Getting plenty of sleep, exercising daily and maintaining a balanced diet can also support your emotional, mental and physical health.
If you can’t seem to turn off negative thoughts or you’re having trouble assuaging your anxiety, seeking help from a counselor at Kayenta Therapy can help you find the tools you need to cope with post-election stress and other issues affecting your well-being. Contact a therapist directly to schedule an in-person or teletherapy session with a counselor at Kayenta Therapy today.