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November 3 may be right around the corner, but that’s just the day America stops voting, not the day we find out who our next president is going to be.

The build-up to November, however, is anything but relaxing. With each passing year, the country’s political tensions and divide only worsen making politics no longer a choice. Many recognize their basic rights, the environment and the future of the pandemic are all on the line. 

Now that you’ve read that, take a slow, steady breathe in… and now out. 

It is this immense stress that needs to be alleviated for the sake of our bodies, our work and our overall mental health. 

Here are some tips to help you prepare for whatever the election results may bring:


Turn off the News

You want to stay informed and you should stay informed, but there is a ridiculous amount going on right now. Between social media, news notifications and class discussions there is only so much a person can take before they become numb or overwhelmed by these serious issues. 

For 24 to 48 hours, delete these apps so you aren’t tempted to read the latest headlines. Give yourself a rest and find a more lighthearted way to entertain and distract yourself.


Take on a New Project

So many people have been phone banking, text banking, volunteering at polls and their service is beyond appreciated and beyond needed. 

But like anything else, make sure to plan an activity for yourself. Go out with friends, carve some pumpkins, have a paint-and-sip night, journal and just create a project so you can unwind. You deserve it.

Remember You Can’t Change Everyone’s Mind

This is hard to accept. We’re told, constantly, to educate ourselves and educate others. And there is nothing wrong with doing so, but you need to know you can’t change everyone’s stance.

While you may be able to open up an honest conversation with some, if not most, of your friends and family, sometimes these conversations only lead to fights and drawn-out, ugly arguments. Making your home or social circle more divided than this country isn’t the goal, even if your intentions are honorable. Pick your battles so that way you have energy to put towards something more productive. 

Find Support

You’re not alone in your fear surrounding this year’s election. So make sure to surround yourself with people who share these intense feelings so that way you have someone to turn to. Hold each other accountable for practicing self-care and even just ranting about how unreal the year 2020 has been. 

No matter what the election outcome may be, you’re going to want someone next to you to share those immense emotions with. 

This list is short, but making sure to practice at least one of these self-care tips each week, it will give you a clearer mind. The bottom line is, we don’t know what’s going to happen (take another deep breath, please) which is all the more reason to take extra good care of your mental health. 

Peyton is a student at American University in Washington, D.C. and is HCAU's Editor in Chief. Majoring in journalism and double minoring in political science and creative writing, Peyton intends on graduating in May 2022. Peyton's goal is to write for a major news organization as a print or online journalist. She also wants to continue traveling, exploring and writing about her experiences. To learn more about her and her work, visit https://peytonbigora.wixsite.com/website .
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