To say there’s a lot at stake in this election is an understatement. I don’t believe I’ve ever seen such a volatile campaign and, as a result, a torn, stressed, anxious and fed up country.
There’s so much to consider when casting your vote, and no matter what “side” you’re on, the impact of this race is reaching everyone. For many it can feel overwhelming, consuming and terrifying. Even young children are experiencing the ripple effect of their parents, peers and schools.
So what do you do?
There are a few things that can help get us through the election, not in spite of,but regardless of the outcome. I know for some that may be hard to really come to terms with, but truly for your health and happiness, you must.
1. For starters, vote
The one thing you can do that matters is to make sure that voice of yours is expressed. Rest easy knowing you did your part.
Don’t get caught up in the fear mongering. Yes, the future is unknown and with that there is always uncertainty, but come back for a minute — all you have is the here, and the now.
I’m planning a lot of time outside in nature. Making time for what makes me feel good, like being around friends and having meals with each other. Surrounding ourselves with community can help us feel less isolated in a tumultuous time. I am also completely disconnecting from social media. I can find out news other ways, but I don’t need the negativity that may potentially ensue (especially on Facebook). Judge this for yourself.
In a time that seems filled with darkness in many ways on all fronts, the last thing anyone should do is lose faith in humanity or in the goodness of people. Frankly, collectively as a nation, we are all together better people than those being elected in office. While we need and desire an accurate representation of our nation, I refuse to treat anyone based on their affiliation with any less respect or kindness than I would before. Don’t compromise your values and integrity for the sake of politics and parties.
3. Now more than ever, we need the light workers
The people who bring joy naturally to the world, spontaneous smiles, and positive and inclusive conversation. We as a nation get to choose our future, not only by election, but way more so on how we respond to it. How we behave and treat each other. The heart of that, the heart of our country matters more and that’s where the focus should turn.
4. Allow yourself to let go of expectations of an outcome
Expectations create false realities and an attachment to the outcome. If or when that false reality does not turn out the way you told yourself, it feels as if the world is crumbling in. This can be applied to so many areas of your life — personally, socially, in relationships, and especially this election.
5. Do your part by making an educated vote and be done with it
Of course it all matters, and I’m not saying it doesn’t matter. What I am saying is you cannot control it. Because of that lack of control with an attachment to the outcome it creates worry and anxiety. Don’t create more stress for yourself by making up stories about how this election plays out.
In other areas of your life, keep doing what brings you happiness and joy. Keep modeling what it means to be a compassionate and loving human. Stay steadfast in the belief of the goodness of people. And most importantly, continue to just breathe through these next few days.