The polls have closed, concessions have been made, and the country is ready to get back to the life it knew before the grueling campaign ramped up. While life before the election may not have been as pleasant as we hoped for, the impact of election stress did no better in easing the minds of many. Election stress? Yes, it was a real thing. Proof? Your Facebook and Twitter feeds last night and just about every day that there was a debate or important milestone during the campaign. Feelings of anger towards the candidates, fear over the state of the economy, and anxiety over the future of our country have had the potential to put many in an unpleasant state of mind. A state of mind that could easily have transferred over to their performance at work, their relationships, and their overall demeanor sub-consciously.
Now that the anticipation is over and the barrage of social media rants have calmed down, recover from the mental madness you may have faced over the course of this campaign and find some balance. Here are a few ways to do that.
- Clear your inbox – If there is one thing I’m happy about, it is the knowledge that the bulk of my personal email will no longer be campaign emails teasing me with an opportunity to meet or have dinner with a presidential candidate. (Even though it didn’t happen, I had hope.) I’m sure there were a few of these emails that were ignored in a rush to get to urgent or personal emails. Take some time today to sweep out your inbox of campaign and other emails you will no longer need. It’s actually quite therapeutic to watch the number of items in your inbox gradually go down and provides for some good mindless personal time.
- Don’t stop now – write a letter. If you are a steadfast voter frustrated with what you have seen, do yourself a favor and channel that energy into a civil letter to your local representative. Don’t stop there. Stay engaged within your community and show your due diligence in working towards a positive change you would like to see. As you saw yesterday, it is the work and principles within the grassroots that matter in the end. Why not do your part in helping to improve the quality of life for you and those around you? Every action makes a difference.
- Calm down on the television and radio this week – You had your fair share last night. The majority of social conversation will naturally be dominated by talks of the election and what everyone thought. As news agencies and steadfast voters continue to be emotionally tied in the upcoming days, absorbing in the negativity of the post-campaign discussions will not help your own mood. Do yourself a favor and go to the theater or pick up a good read that you can easily dive into.
- When some time passes, remember the good times – There were definitely some amusing moments that brought a smile to our faces over the course of this election cycle: “horses and bayonets”, “binders full of women”, anything related to Michelle Bachmann, Trump’s challenge hilariously ignored by the president, and especially this girl. Let us, at least, be thankful that we got some of these moments which we can cherish for years to come!
Although this may sound more like a break-up, it may be just what is needed to find that balance for post-election stress. Put your anxiety aside, turn off the coverage (for now), and get back to the things that really matter now.