This election has left many people feeling scared, triggered, anxious, depressed, angry, and nauseous.
Here are a few low cost self care strategies to help cope with the election stress.
Take a walk outside: go to a park, to a body of water, or explore a new neighborhood. It can help you take your mind off of what's stressing you.
Swim, Run, or Hike: If you live somewhere where you can hike or swim, you're lucky and I'm jealous, but if not you can always run outside. Doing physical activity releases endorphins and can help relieve stress.
Write: You can write grocery lists, essays, poems, journal, or write letters. Writing is a great way to express how you're feeling, and I personally love to look back at my writing from a certain time period and see how I was feeling back then.
Quality Time: Carve out some time with your close friends, family members, or significant other. It can be painting, watching netflix, going to see a movie, having a picnic, grabbing lunch, or making a meal together. It's important to feel connected and supported in these times and being around people you love can really help you do that.
Treat Yourself: You can treat yourself to ice cream, make your favorite dish or dessert, paint your nails, do a face mask, get a massage, get a pedicure, or just give yourself time to do something you enjoy. Whether that means scrapbooking, knitting, painting, reading a book, or buying a splurge item. Do what makes you feel good. It's a little different for everyone. Personally, I love listening to a playlist I made in 2012, using lush bath bombs, and sleeping in.
Find Community: If you don't have a community you feel safe in already, try and find one. Even if that means joining a facebook group, going to a new book club, finding an interesting lecture to attend, going to an open mic night, attending a religious service, or contributing to a reddit or tumblr thread.
Talk to someone: If you're feeling upset and have a regular therapist, call them up and ask to schedule an appointment earlier than usual. If you're being triggered because of past trauma's look into calling a hotline or doing an online chat with an advocate. The National Suicide Prevention Hotline is Call 1-800-273-8255 and they also offer an online chat. The National Sexual Assault Hotline is Call 1-800-656-4673 and they have an online chat feature as well. The National Street Harassment hotline is a great resource whether you're being catcalled or harassed about your race, gender, or religion. The number is 855-897-5910 and they have an online hotline as well. The National Domestic Violence hotline is 1−800−799−7233. The website http://www.glbthotline.org/ has various different online chat support groups as well as hotlines for LGBT people of all ages and stages in life.
Take a break: If that means calling in sick to work or school, deciding to stay off of social media for a day or two, taking yourself on a date, napping, or allowing time before bed to think and write down your thoughts, or allowing time for you to watch your favorite movie or listen to your favorite band. Take a break, there's a lot of things going through most people's minds about what the ripples of this election will cause. Take some time to pause and take a step back from it all.
Organize: If you feel up to it, you can take it upon yourself to learn when your next local election is, you can take it upon yourself to write to your senator about an issue bothering you, you can get involved in demonstrations, you can leave a governor a voicemail, or you can volunteer to paint signs or provide child care at meetings for a cause you believe in.
I honestly, we can't say what the future holds, but I know that taking care of your wellbeing today is important for tomorrow. We can be scared, confused, hurt, angry, and nervous but you also need to allow yourself space and time to feel those things.