Election discourse can get extremely heated to the point that it becomes a detriment to your mental health. Here are some ways on how you can mind your well-being at the most crucial of times.
Elections can get very heated with stressful moments that can occur across social media and in real life. While there is nothing wrong with taking elections seriously and giving it your all, there is also the concern of neglecting your social and emotional well-being. Among the many issues being discussed on the campaign trail, mental health has proven to be a salient concern, especially amongst young voters. As more and more people openly talk about issues regarding mental health, many have also looked into what candidates have said regarding the matter. Candidates who have supported mental health initiatives or those who have dismissed the issue can greatly affect whether one votes for that candidate or not. But as people talk about mental health this election season, there is also the need to talk about our own mental health at such a crucial point.
There’s nothing wrong with fighting for the candidate/s and advocacies you believe in, but you also need to take care of yourself and not be a drained by the time you reach the ballot box. As we reach the final days of the campaign season, here are a few things you can do to mind your mental health.
TAKE CARE OF YOURSELF
First and foremost, like with any consuming activity, you need to carve out your own me-time. Sleep well, eat a good meal, and find the time to just sit down and rest. Seek those moments to just breathe and step back from all the noise before going all out in the last few days of the election campaign.
ACKNOWLEDGE YOUR FEELINGS
Election season can bring out a lot of emotions in us, both good and bad. For some, it can be a lot to take it and even scary to process. This is why it’s important to acknowledge your feelings. Are you angry, tired, or stressed? Then recognize that and don’t just keep it inside you. Be open with yourself and don’t be dismissive of that stress or anxiety that is creeping up on you. Powering through these tough emotions without properly addressing them can affect you in ways that can last way past election season. Remember to keep tabs on your feelings, continue to monitor them, set boundaries, and when you feel necessary, talk to someone you are comfortable with about it or seek professional advice.
TAKE YOUR MIND OFF ELECTIONS FROM TIME TO TIME
While some may enjoy eating and breathing elections and politics 24/7, that’s not a lifestyle many can sustain. Find time in your day to do something unrelated to politics or elections. Exercise, play video games, read a good book, hang out with friends. Don’t let the intensity and frustration get the best of you. As with anything that occupies your mind, it is imperative to take a conscious break from this focus, especially if things are just too much. And when you’ve recharged and recovered, get back on the trail of what and who you believe in.
TAKE TIME TO UNDERSTAND OTHERS
In the polarized world that we live in, most people often prefer to hear thoughts, ideas, and expressions that agree with their own beliefs. The moment we don’t and are presented with opinions that don’t agree with ours, that’s when things can get tense. In those moments where we come across debatable topics and ideas against ours, it is wise to not overtly react and engage in a heated manner. It is easier said than done, of course, but looking at the bigger picture, it will bring you more peace of mind.
Getting mad at everyone for believing in things that you don’t won’t be healthy in the long run. You’ll be frustrated, angry, and upset most of the time. Everyone wants a better life, but the way to achieve that differs for many. In these moments, take the time to understand the other side. Who knows, these conversations can lead to more productive outcomes. Of course, it’s a whole other conversation when the other side just wants to share fake news and not care at all.
LOG OFF FROM SOCIAL MEDIA
Social media has proven to be a popular tool for candidates and regular citizens to share their beliefs, political or otherwise. Given this, social media platforms have also been a sight of many discussions and disagreements on a multitude of issues this election season. It doesn’t take a while to realize that discourse on social media can get extremely toxic. Doom scrolling all day can be bad for your mental health, so it is best to limit your social media use. Take a pause from politics and just log off. Turn off the phone, disengage, and focus your attention elsewhere.
Election stress is real, especially now that a whole lot is at stake. The negativity and noise can just be overbearing at times, but remember, the elections are also the chance to bring about positive change, both for yourself and for your country. It’s a moment where you can help make a difference. At the end of the day, what’s important is that your heart and voting intentions are in the right place, and that you exercise your right to vote for the best candidates to lead us into the best future.
If you or someone you know is currently going through mental health issues, you can contact the following hotlines.
National Center for Mental Health Crisis Hotline (NCMH-USAP): 0917-899-USAP (8727) or 7-989-USAP (8727)
In Touch Crisis Line: 0917-800-1123, 0922-893-8944, and 02-8893-7603
Here is also a list of mental health services and resources you can avail of.