How to Reduce Post-Election Stress
- Minimize your exposure. Stay informed, but limit your exposure to media and social media. Don’t allow the current political climate to dominate your thoughts or consume you.
- Practice Awareness of Breathing Meditation. Rest your attention on the breath. When you notice that your mind has wandered, bring the attention back to the breath.
- Take in the good. Notice what is good and right in your life and in the world. Do what brings you joy. For every moment that you spend feeling angry, sad or scared, spend an equal amount of time cultivating joy.
- Spend time in nature. Go for a walk. Sit in your yard or in a local park and listen to the birds. Go for a walk on the beach or in the woods. Feel the wind on your face and the warmth of the sun on your skin.
- Allow yourself to feel your feelings. It’s ok to feel confused, sad, afraid, angry or whatever you are feeling. Let yourself feel. Write about your feelings in your journal. Connect with people who are kind, compassionate and inclusive and talk about your feelings.
- If you are feeling hopeless, reach out and connect. Ask for help. Talk with a friend or loved one. If you need professional help, reach out for support. If you are having suicidal thoughts, reach out for help. Call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 800-273-8255.
- Cultivate compassion. Cultivate compassion for people who are different from you and become an ally to someone from the LGBTQ, African-American, Muslim, Mexican, or Jewish communities. Speak up against harassment or intimidation of any kind.
- Manage your anger responsibly. A lot of anger and hate is being expressed out there right now. If it gets directed toward you, take a deep breath and walk away. Choose to not engage. Find a healthy outlet for your own anger, like talking with a trusted friend or therapist, engaging in exercise for some physical release, writing about it, or channeling it into constructive action.
- Channel your stress into constructive action. Join local, state and national organizations that encourage compassion and inclusiveness.
- Remember that everything is impermanent. Everything is impermanent, including the current state of political affairs. This, too, shall pass.
Jen Johnson is a meditation teacher, coach and Licensed Professional Counselor. www.jenjohnson.com