As a mental health writer who’s likewise a depressed human in this world, I’ve been thinking a lot about all the methods I can alleviate the election’s influence on my capability to function. Far, I’ve composed about making a self-care plan, managing your mental health on Election Day itself, and planning for a post-election hangover The advice professionals give me has been great. I know a lot of individuals, myself included, have a tough time taking great psychological health suggestions.
There are a ton of factors for this (just ask my therapist!) At the end of the day, it can just be … hard. Difficult to do things even when I understand they’re good for me. Tough to request help. Hard to feel deserving of the tenderness of self-care. Difficult to expend effort and energy throughout a year when my depression and pandemic depression and election stress and anxiety and burnout and existential fear are all teaming up to form some sort of Suicide Squad from hell. Which is all to say, in all possibility, I’ll probably invest election night stewing in my torment and tension, scrolling through social media, and largely dealing by myself.
But I’m still going to make an effort to practice some self-care on Election Day, mostly due to the fact that I assured my therapist I would. I’m simply setting the bar really low. Here are some things I’m doing, just in case you also feel overwhelmed with standard Election Day psychological health suggestions and need some self-care tips that feel more achievable.
1. Providing myself consent to be incredibly tuned in.
Listen. I know. I know professionals are stating that costs Election Day with your eyes glued to social networks will just worry you out more. Believe me, I interviewed them and heard it firsthand. If I’m being sincere with myself, I understand I’m not going to be able to look away and I ‘d rather accept it now than invest all night in a fight of attempting and failing with myself.
Fortunately, I do have some traditional psychological health recommendations on my side here, which is that the word “ought to” is typically a pretty good indicator of a behavior you should not force yourself to do. When we ” should” ourselves— as in, informing ourselves what we think we need to do or needs to feel– we’re frequently beating ourselves up with judgment, guilt, and unrealistic expectations. And reality be told, I’ve invested the past couple of weeks thinking, “I must cut down on social networks for the election” or “I must spend the day doing enjoyable, pleasurable activities that take my mind off things.” However if you know in your heart of hearts that it’s not taking place, do yourself the kindne