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5 Post-Election Plans To Maintain Your Mental Health

11-03-2020 by Andi Ortiz

  ( © JIM WATSON/AFP via Getty Images)  

 

Deep breath – it’s here. The moment we’ve all been waiting for: Election Day.

 

In what is perhaps the most pivotal election of our time, everyone’s eyes will be glued to social media today, and maybe even for the better portion of this week. It’s going to be heavy with anticipation and, no matter who wins, likely full of tension.

 

There’s no getting around it; we just have to get through it. That said, there are a few things we can do to make getting through it a bit more manageable. Here are a few plans you can, and probably should, have to help maintain your mental health through election day.

 

1. Get Involved Locally

No matter who comes out the victor after today, it’s important to remember that not all change comes down to one man. Long-term progress begins and is sustained when it starts at the local level. Keep an eye on your local officials; watch the decisions they make. More often than not, little decisions on the local level can have bigger, long-term effects on a macro level. And if those decisions aren’t making your area better, remember that, and be ready to show up in those smaller elections that happen more than just once every four years.

 

2. Talk About What’s Happening

This election is huge. Regardless of who wins it, it’s going to bring up some strong feelings – and that’s okay. Talk about them with someone you trust. Feel your feelings, and process them fully. Obviously, we’re still in the middle of a pandemic, so getting together for a little Election Night support group isn’t all that feasible. But there’s still FaceTime, there’s still Zoom, there’s still just a good old-fashioned phone call. Have an Eelection Night buddy you can talk to as news rolls in, good or bad.

 

3. Unplug When You Need To

Election Day is going to be very long, with a whole lot of updates coming through. And no matter who wins, there’s going to be a flurry of action in the following weeks. While it’s important to stay informed on what’s happening, remember to give yourself permission to unplug when you need to. This can be surprisingly hard, especially when knowing that your ability to separate yourself from what’s happening, even for a little bit, is a privilege that some in this country are not afforded. But if you’re going to keep fighting, and keep helping those who are affected most by the election outcome, you need to be at your best. Even just 10 minutes off your phone can do wonders in this moment.

 

4. Donate to Organizations Doing Good

Sadly, change can be pretty expensive. Even with the victor you’re hoping for, the causes and organizations you support rely on consistent funding. And sometimes, it goes beyond what the government can or will provide. So, if you are able, make a small donation every now and then to a cause working to do some good. Do it even when things are looking bright for them. Progress will only continue to be made when it has steady support.

 

5. Indulge In Your Comforts

Again, it cannot be overstated that no matter how things turn out on Election Day, the next few weeks – perhaps even months – are going to be a lot. So, while you’re working on plan number three, feel free to indulge in your favorite dessert or re-watch a movie you’ve already seen 100 times. If it brings you joy, and it works in a socially distant society, hold onto it. Eat that extra slice of pizza, go ahead and order takeout if you don’t feel like cooking, watch just one more episode before bed.

 

If your candidate wins, these moments will be celebratory. If it’s the other way around, well, then you’ve still earned them.

 

No go out and VOTE.