Dealing With Anxiety and Fear Due to The Election

There’s no doubt that 2020 has been one terrible year, but it also has gone by so quickly. The election is today and tensions are running high. It’s discouraging to see stores in major cities boarded up in preparation for the aftermath of the election. One college in Washington, D.C.  warned its students to have enough food for a week in case it was not safe to leave. Is this the world we really live in? Will there actually be civil unrest, chaos or protests? These are the questions I’ve been asking myself over the past few days. It is crazy to think about how much the United States has changed this year, how much more hate and division has been caused. 

It’s important to know whatever you’re feeling is valid. I know some will say “you’re being overdramatic” or “everything will be fine.” However, things are going to change, no matter who wins. This change will personally affect everyone differently, some not at all and some more than others, but the overall state of our country will be different. This election has brought on more stress than I think we realize. For me, it’s been an overwhelming sense of just wanting to get it over with. It’s knowing that no matter the outcome that there will be tension, hate and potential chaos. It’s constantly wishing that people would love, respect, protect and understand each other more. 

Now more than ever, it is important to have empathy. In this life, we all go on different paths. Some people go through things that are unfair, but this gives them wisdom and makes them stronger. We can all learn from each other. My advice to anyone right now would be to vote for those that you love. When you’re choosing which candidate to vote for, think about how the outcome will affect those in your community. 

No one can predict what is to come after this election. Stay connected with those in your community. During times of fear and anxiety, lean on your family and friends. Check in on those you know struggle with anxiety. Offer encouragement and lift each other up. Don’t be afraid to have hope. No matter the outcome, you can still believe that this country will be okay. 

If you need a break from social media, take one. Mental health should be top priority right now. If your candidate loses, don’t deal with the disappointment of it alone, but talk to a similar minded friend or family member.  Try to avoid confrontation with those who believe differently than you right after the election. 

The most important thing is to take care of yourself this week. Do something you love. Stay grounded, have hope, and remember you are not alone in how you feel.