5 Ways to Reduce Post-Election Day Anxiety
Non-partisan tips to help you get through your post-Election day.
Posted November 9, 2016
If your Facebook feed is like mine, then you’re probably seeing a lot of divisive and intensely emotional comments being posted on both sides of the political lines. People are defriending friends. Some people are hopeful and celebrating. Others are mourning and in shock.
If you’re feeling overwhelmed by the results of the election or dealing with negative interactions with people at work or on social media, here are 5 non-partisan ways to help reduce your anxiety.
1. Take some time to process your emotions.
This is a good time to take a minute to assess how you’re actually feeling, away from all the social media chatter and water cooler discussions. You might have a whole range of emotions are normal in response to the election results-- or they also might be difficult to understand, mixed, or conflicting. Take your time to identify your emotions-- you can write them down or simply reflect quietly with them.
2. Get sleep and rest.
A lot of people are likely pretty sleep-deprived today after staying up super late to find out about the election results. Reduced sleep also means that your emotions will be more intense and heightened. Physically exhaustion and poor sleep make anxiety worse. So make sure to relax when you can and catch up on rest. Try some deep breathing , yoga , or talk a mindful walk during lunch break today.
3. Reduce time on social media feeds.
Social media is known to be an ineffective way to communicate in relationships and a source of miscommunication, arguments, distress, and even breakups. People are also more likely to attack or argue with you over social media because it feels impersonal and more distant.
4. Talk with other people who are supportive and compassionate, regardless of their political stance.
At times like these, it’s helpful to talk to people you trust who support you no matter what your political inclinations. It’s unlikely that you will be able to change the minds of people who are in a reactive or belligerent state or have a productive conversation with them, so find friends and family who can discuss your feelings in kind and respectful manner.
5. Rest assured that for most people, intense anxiety will improve with time.
Intense anxiety and panic as physical and emotional states are typically time-limited. Your body becomes exhausted, and it will eventually wind down out of a physical need to rest. If you find that the anxiety from the election isn’t going away over the next few weeks and is preventing you from going to work, sleeping, eating, or taking care of yourself, then it might be time to see a doctor or therapist. But, for the majority of people, this anxiety is normal and will improve.
Marlynn Wei, MD, PLLC © 2016