How many of you, regardless if you can vote or not, find yourself overwhelmed with politics and the non-stop chatter, social media posts and news coverage? Are you ready for it to be over?
You are not alone.
Election years seem to have intensified in the last few elections. Why? Because not only do we have the news talking about it, our social media feeds are filled with commentary, opinions and rampant conspiracy theories, some of it from our very closest friends and family. It's almost as if we can't get away from it.
Because this is an election year, emotions have been high from the beginning of 2020. And then came COVID. So as if we weren't already stressed enough with the election, COVID came in and knocked everything upside down. It has changed the way many of us would vote, not only candidate-wise, but also in person versus mail-in ballot.
So how can we maintain mental wellness during a crazy election season?
1) Limit your news coverage.
Set mental (or physical) timers on your news coverage. Decide for yourself how much time you think is effective to get your news for the day. The best way to figure out the right amount of time? When you start to see the same information on the news, when your blood starts boiling over someone's commentary, it's time to turn it off. We are during the Halloween season, put on a festive movie!
2) Set social media boundaries
As the same regurgitated news can be ineffective, so can social media. Except with social media, you get the same news + everyone's opinions. And let's be honest- those opinions are likely disrespectful or hurtful. On Facebook, you can "Snooze" friends for 30 days, so that you won't see their posts. On Instagram, you can mute them. They won't know you've done so, but it allows you to put some distance between yourself and their posts.
3) Respect others to respect yourself.
Just as the human species varies in culture, religion, skin color, and features,
we also have different thought processes and beliefs when it comes to politics. It seems these days that people of different political parties cannot be friends. This is untrue. The only way politics are effective is when people use their belief systems to help create change together. Typically, when we lash out at others, we have an internal conflict going on with ourselves that we don't want to acknowledge. In the course of politics, we must respect each other, even if we don't agree, because it in turn helps us to stay positively charged. Negative words and lashing out at others not only hurts them, but it hurts us. Stay sane by staying respectful.
We can only control what we can control, which includes ourselves and our vote. We cannot control others, we cannot control how other people vote, and we cannot control the future. This might seem terrifying to some, but to others, it may take the stress off. There is going to be a winner and a loser in this election. That is inevitable. As in all things in life, some people get their way and others don't. Regardless of the outcome, we have to pick ourselves up and do our best to carry on, working together on all sides of the aisle.