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14 Ways to Stay Sane While Waiting for the Results of the 2020 Presidential Election

There’s no way around it; today (along with the days to come) is going to be rough. Key races are expected to be tight, and the final results are expected to take days – if not weeks – so many voters are gearing up to live the next indeterminant number of days on the edge of their seats and fighting their anxiety. 

Sometimes the best way to get through a stressful time, such as this election season, is to distract yourself with things that make you happy. If you’re having trouble coming up with an effective way to take your mind off of things, even if only to give yourself a small break here and there, I’ve compiled 14 of the best ways to distract yourself.

Tackle the next book on your reading list

Have a book on your shelf that’s been there for a while, staring you down? Want to actually meet your iBooks reading goal for once? It’s a perfect time to do it! No matter what you chose, if you’re taking time away from watching the news, reading may make you feel like you’re still being productive and informed.

Organize your space

Something that’ll really take your mind off of the state of our country and pass the time is cleaning up your home! Not only will you distract yourself, but in the end you’ll have accomplished something that’s almost guaranteed to help your mental health.

Take down your Halloween decorations

 Move over jack-o-lanterns, and hello fairy lights! Despite what your spooky soul thinks, Halloween is, in fact, over. Dust off your holiday box in the closet and clear up your decor to get ready for the winter ahead (and to remind yourself that this is all temporary, in a good way!).

Listen to a calming playlist

Sometimes music is the answer. Apple Music and Spotify each have a variety of relaxing music playlists, so you’re sure to find one to take some deep breaths to that matches your vibes. 

Or make your own

Compile all your favorite calm songs, or songs that just put you in a good mood, and create a lengthy playlist – one to last you the whole day if you need it. Even background music can keep you grounded, and offers a quick moment of distraction when you catch a favorite song. 

Reach out to your friends

You’ve got your squad for a reason. Your friends are there to make you feel better (and vice versa), so lean on them if you need them. Play some Snapchat games, take some Buzzfeed quizzes together, stream movies on FaceTime or have a drink and do a face mask!

Watch an empowering movie

Watching some returns and feeling a bit beaten down? Watch your favorite girl power movie – whether it’s political or not – and remind yourself that we can own our power. We got this!

Take your pet (or yourself) for a walk

Have a pup you can play with? Or even a cat lounging around? Do you both a favor and get outside! Taking a walk is a good way to remind yourself that there’s an outside world, and to clear your head.

Scroll your fave TikToks

Even though TikTok may not always be the best use of our time, today we all get a free pass. But instead of scrolling the FYP, just take a look back at your favorited videos for some comfort viewing! 

Take a warm bath

Relaxation nation, baby! Sometimes what you gotta do is just take a load off and relax under the hot water. Drop some essential oils in to maximize the relaxation potential.

Light some candles

Get into some aromatherapy and light a few candles. Not only will your space smell good, but they’ll give your room a nice cozy, home-y feeling, like you’re in a little cocoon.

Watch your fave fun TV show

They say laughter is the best medicine, and some TV shows definitely prove that. Some of my personal faves to take my mind off our crumbling society are New Girl, Parks and Rec, and Crazy Ex-Girlfriend.

Create something!

When it seems like the whole world could be crashing down, creating something can help you stay sane. Get some paint out, write a journal entry, start a crochet project, or anything else that gets your hands working and that creative juice flowing. 

Log off

Finally, take some time away from social media and election updates. Turn your phone off and take a beat. You don’t necessarily have to pay attention to every little change in the elections, and trying to will run you ragged. Taking a break from being online will be healthier in the long run.

Today will be stressful, there’s no doubt about it. But we’re all in this together and we’ll get through this, with some distractions to help along the way. 

Lulu Amirault

U Mass Amherst '19

I'm a grad of UMass Amherst with two degrees in Classics and Communications (a random combination, I know.) I'm into graphic design, photography, and attempting to bullet journal throughout the month. You can usually find me hanging with my cat Gatsby and listening to Harry Styles.