5 Ways To Cope With Election Day Anxiety
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Politics and Activism

5 Ways To Cope With Election Day Anxiety

The 2020 presidential election is less than a week away, and if that doesn't scare you, I don't know what will.

5 Ways To Cope With Election Day Anxiety

We all know that this year's election will be different in more ways than we can count. Insert quote about unprecedented times here 🙂.

For those of us with anxious tendencies, this election will be more stressful than most, and I think a lot of people will agree when I say that I'm dreading election day. The constant poll-checking, projections from analysts, and 24/7 news coverage will be enough to have any sane person ripping their hair out.

To protect the precious hairs on your beautiful head, I've compiled a list of ways to combat election day anxiety.

1. Limit your poll-checking.

Photo by 🇨🇭 Claudio Schwarz | @purzlbaum on Unsplash

With Twitter at our disposal, it can be easy to spend all day checking election returns as ballots are counted. However, this is not the healthy choice. Especially considering that election results will most likely not be final on the night of November 3, as this Vox article explains. Try to only check polls and election news once every two hours or longer in order to preserve your sanity.

2. Don't disrupt your everyday routine.

I know that next Tuesday will be anything but an ordinary day, but disrupting your typical routine will only exacerbate any anxiety caused by the hectic nature of election day. As this article points out, routines actually aid in managing anxiety, so you're really doing more harm when you disrupt your daily schedule due to special events or extenuating circumstances. Instead, treat November 3 as any other boring day, and do exactly what you normally do.

3. Queue up your distractions.

Even if you're not constantly checking the polls on Twitter or keeping your eyes glued to your TV, you'll likely still be thinking about the election and its outcome. This is where distractions come in. If you feel your mind wandering, stream your favorite movie or TV show, read a comforting book, or play a couple (hundred) rounds of "Among Us." Anything that can keep your brain occupied will help prevent overanalyzing results you have no control over.

4. Talk to your friends and family — just not about the election.

I guarantee that you're not the only person who's suffering from election day anxiety. Reach out to your friends and family members for a good chat (preferably one that isn't about politics). There's strength in numbers, so don't feel like you have to go through this scary time alone.

5. And, most importantly, VOTE!

Photo by Parker Johnson on Unsplash

If you're planning on voting in person on election day, get your plan ready now to save stress on the actual day. If you've already voted, whether it be absentee or early voting, give yourself a pat on the back. Nothing will alleviate stress like doing your civic duty.

* * *

I wish you luck in your endeavors to stay sane on November 3rd. These are some stressful times we're living in, but if you've made it this far, I'm pretty sure you can make it through anything.

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