V’s 10 Ways to Ground Yourself During This Anxious Time
Remember to prioritize self care.
Ah, the elections. As if 2020 hasn’t been tumultuous enough!
With voting polls officially closed and counting currently going underway, all we can do at the moment is stand by and wait for the fate of the nation to be determined. That can be pretty scary to think about for various reasons, regardless of your political affiliation.
We understand that this time can bring much stress and anxiety to anyone; especially given our current socio political climate. Just know that you aren not alone in this. In fact, a nationwide surge in anxiety levels is most definitely to be expected around this time thanks to the uncertainty onset by the coronavirus pandemic mixed with the surge in political tension.
Hopefully you’ve had time to cast your vote and inspire those around you to do so as well. If so, then good on you for exercising your rights as an American and doing your part to elect our next president! Without further ado, here are some ways that you can disengage from the world for a second, and alleviate your election anxiety.
Meditate the Tension Away
If you find yourself refreshing your social media every so often and reading up on the results more times than you can count, perhaps it’s a good idea to ditch your phone for a minute and meditate.
Cliché advice? Probably. But it’s a tried and tested method that’s held up this long for a reason! Whether you believe in the tantric qualities of meditation or not, this practice is arguably one of the easiest, most organic methods of reconnecting to the natural world around you with little to no effort.
Look for a quiet space, close your eyes, and focus on your breathing for a couple of minutes, as you let every single thought disappear from your focus. Sound easy? It can be. For those who have trouble concentrating, calming music or sounds may do the trick.
You can also find dozens of guided meditation sessions on Youtube. For those who are unsure of how to start off meditating or where to begin looking, here’s an excellent “Guided Meditation for Anxiety” video by Russell Brand.
In the past it was said that the smell of warm cookies would help realtors sell houses, that people remember what they read more efficiently when they read in the presence of scents that correlated to the reading topic, and that the smell of Peppermint increases brain activity in the area that wakes us up in the morning.
In fact, according to Scientific American, “odors people like make them feel good, whereas odors people dislike make them feel bad. These mood responses have also been reported physiologically”. The trick here is to make sure that the scent is something that you associate with positive.
Try some lighting some scented candles, spritzing on your favorite perfume, or diffusing an essential oil of choice. And if that’s not your jam, don’t worry! You can also light some sage, or wash all your bedding for that freshly washed linen scent.
Exercise, exercise, exercise.
Endorphins bring about feelings of euphoria and general well-being. They are also proven to help reduce stress!
Dance to your favorite song, go to the gym, or find a yoga tutorial on Youtube to work up a sweat and start getting rid of that unwanted worry. Your body will thank you for it and you’ll feel much more prepared to take on the world.
Immerse Yourself In a Hobby
Go back to your roots and remember a time where you were carefree. As a child, we are more likely to seek out the things that make us genuinely happy. As we get older it gets a little harder to find time to have fun or even do things without the pressure to make it work in our favor.
Remember to prioritize your mental health to make sure that you remain the best version of yourself. Find the time to let go of your worries and focus on doing something that makes you feel happy, regardless of how pointless it may initially seem. You’ll be happier you tapped into your inner child. Your brain will also thank you for it.
Log off all your social media accounts and turn off the news for a minute. Detox yourself of all technology and let yourself just hang loose for a while. Sometimes the internet can lead you down a rabbit hole with overwhelming amounts of information. It can tire anyone out.
Leave your phone on ‘do not disturb’ mode for a day, or download an app that will lock some of your phone’s social media features for you. That way, you can still use your phone for the things that matter without the temptation of social media.
Go On A Mini Shopping Spree
I’ll admit this one is a little risky, but only because it’s so easy to get carried away! While retail therapy will never replace actual therapy, it sure does bring about some desperately needed instant gratification. Be sure to plan your budget carefully, and get yourself that one unnecessary item you’ve secretly been eyeing for a while. If it’ll bring you some joy, why not?
Shop online, put stuff in your cart, or safely make your way to a brick and mortar store. You can also go on a quick trip to your local thrift store.
As Tom and Donna from Park and Rec put it, “treat yourself”!
Listen To a Podcast
We are in the age where just about everyone has a podcast of some kind. From television hosts such as Joe Rogan, to former First Lady Michelle Obama, to NASA, there’s something out there for everyone. Research your favorite topic and find a community of creatives who are just as interested in the same things you are. You can also find tons of smaller podcasts with people who talk about issues that matter to a niche audience.
If you’re bold enough, you can even start your own podcast!
Make Some Comfort Food
Healthy food is good for the body and mind. If you like working with your hands then cooking is a great way to let go of tension and anxiety. Crack open that cookbook that’s been lying on your shelf for a while, call your grandmother and ask her for a good recipe, or head to the internet to find something that you’ve never thought about making before. The possibilities are endless.
Or if you’re not really feeling it, you can order takeout from your favorite restaurant and eat while you watch your favorite movie.
In school we are told that the best way to learn something is by teaching others. In fact, Roman Philosopher Seneca is often quoted as saying, “While we teach, we learn”. This phenomenon is often referred to as the Protégé Effect.
That same teaching can also be applied here. If you know someone else who is feeling a little anxious like you, try being there for them if you can. You can both communicate your own fears and maybe even find a new activity that will help the both of you at the same time.
Reach Out To Others For Support
Everyone needs a little help sometimes, and that’s okay. If you find that you’ve tried everything you could, but nothing seems to be working, do not be afraid to reach out to a friend or trusted family member for support. They may or may not feel the same, but they can still help you out.
There’s also a couple of apps you can use such as Headspace, Shine (a BIPOC owned self care app), and Ten Percent Happier (check out their 2020 Election Sanity Guide).