Election Safety and Metal Health Plans

As election day extends to election week, it’s important to take care of yourself and find spaces where you feel safe and comfortable. Whereas it’s easy to get sucked into scrolling through social media and constantly be looking at updates and poll numbers, this can further induce anxiety and leave you feeling even more stressed. There are many uncertainties about the future of our nation and what the next four years and even four weeks will look like. This election has stirred more emotions and political tension than ever before. No matter which way the poll favors, the losing side will be very upset, which could result in protests and civil unrest, especially if the election is contested. Since it could take until the end of the week to announce a winner, take these days to map out a safety and security plan not only for your own personal protection, but for your overall mental health and well-being. Also remember that everyone copes with stress and anxiety differently. Be mindful and respectful of this and don’t be afraid to reach out to others. If you are needing some guidance on how to feel protected and overall mentally stable. 

 

Safety Resources 

 

Although we should not be frightened for something like the purge, it is still smart to prepare for the worst and plan ahead. 

A week worth of supplies

Before the end of this week, ensure you have at least one week's worth of essential supplies for your home. This includes groceries, bottled water, toilet paper, paper towels, toiletries, flashlight, portable charger and first aid kit. 

 

Traffic plans 

If demonstrations move into the streets, this could cause more traffic and transportation issues. If you travel by car, consider filling up your car with gas. If you take public transportation, stay updated with your cities transportation methods and look at alternative routes that avoid main lines. 

 

Escape plan 

If you start to feel unsafe at home, make sure you have an escape plan on where you can stay and how you would be able to get there. 

 

Check in with friends and family 

This is a difficult and overwhelming time for everyone. Check in with your friends and family and assure they also have post-election plans. 

 

Participating in protests

We all have the right to protest and use our voices during this time. After this election if you feel the result is unfair and you will be participating in protests, make sure you are prepared. When going to a protest, make sure you have a mask, water, food, a portable charger and a self-defense mechanism such as pepper spray or a taser. Educate yourself about your rights before entering these protests. 

 

Mental Health 

 

Right now making sure we are mentally secure is just as important as making sure we are physically secure. 

 

Limit social media

Right now social media is constantly overloaded with political updates, opinionated comments as well as misleading information. It may feel like you need to see every update and be a part of this, however, sometimes it’s more important to take a break. 

 

Enjoy favorite food

Pull out your favorite recipes or grab your favorite takeout. This is a time to feel comfortable in all aspects of your life. A lot of your mental health depends on how you are taking care of your body. Listen to your body and what it needs!

 

Exercise/get outside

Another way to take your mind off of things is to move your body in whichever way will reduce your stress and give you joy. This could be going on a run or walk, weight-lifting, dancing, doing yoga or even cleaning your house or doing the dishes. 

 

Journaling 

Writing down your feelings and experiences can help you understand your thoughts and alleviate your anxiety. 

 

Keep yourself busy 

During this time, keeping yourself busy will help your mind avert from worrying about the outcomes of this election. Try making a weekly schedule and writing in different plans or ideas for yourself on how to pass the time.