Don’t Let the Election (Or its Results) Consume You

While writing this, I’m sitting in bed trying to distract myself by stringing words together while “Supernatural” acts as background noise. So I’d first like to thank you for being a part of my distraction, it helps more than you know. It’s only Nov. 4 at this time and I’m already having trouble keeping myself from worrying and becoming anxious with everyone else. 

Along with most of the country and parts of the world, my brain has become flooded with information. Election season wasn’t nearly this bad when I was 14, but now that I have gained the right to vote and there’s a pandemic, I’ve become one of the many Americans involved in one of the most prolonged waiting games in history. 

election hero image Original illustration by Victoria Giardina

It’s no secret that a lot is on the line this election season. With Senate, House, and Presidential votes being counted, stress can climb fast when everything is changing and every number is too close to call. And when some of the topics being debated affect you, it just seems to be 10 times worse. In my experience, my intersectionalities were usually a fun thing that I loved about myself, but now it just feels like something else to worry about. However, it’s best not to think this way, especially with how tumultuous the world is at the moment. The last thing anyone needs is to feel bad or worry about themselves and who they are right now. It will only add to the stress you’re feeling in the long-run. It’s better and easier for yourself to focus on the things you can control. At this point in the process, it’s better to just know that your ballot has been counted, take a deep breath, and wait. 

I Voted Graphic Photo by Visuals from Unsplash

I don’t know about everyone else, but distraction is my go-to coping mechanism. It has helped me to divert myself from everything that’s going on and routinely take a break from social media, the news, and just my phone in general. Yes, that means avoid googling “election results” every 10 minutes. I’ve found it easier to let the news come to me via friends, family, or a random Twitter notification. Any big updates will make their way to you so you don’t have to seek them out.  A lot of the anxiety I’ve experienced comes from an overload of information, so limiting that has helped. Watch a movie, bake, crochet, write; whatever helps you feel better and takes your mind off of what’s going on. It’s important to have a balance between paying attention and absorbing too many details. 

Spoon Csu-Blueberry Chocolate Chip Oatmeal Cookies Brook Buchan / Spoon

This election season has the potential to go on for a while even if we have a projected President-elect so it’s important to continue having a balance even if it seems like everything is over. Not to mention the potential for backlash from both sides of the political spectrum could also flood social media and news outlets. When it reaches this point, it will be just as important to protect your mental health and take breaks from what’s happening in the world, even if you care about it a lot. Taking a break doesn’t mean you don’t care. It means you’re taking care of yourself. The world will still be there when you decide to tune back in. 

Bristol working from home scene Photo by Mikey Harris from Unsplash

Although this election may not end as smoothly as ones in years past, it’s crucial to understand that it will end eventually. Things will cool down, we will get back to our semi-normal routines, and the world will keep turning.