Election Day Jitters (and how to cope with afterwards)

November 2nd, 2020 // Status Report

Hi, everyone!

This isn’t a part of my regular scheduled content. I was struggling with WordPress earlier today and despite my frustration with the new editor, I decided to give in to my desire to write this blog post.

There is so much anxious energy in the air, and I was called to write this post and upload it today. I couldn’t shake this feeling.

So, we’re all anxious about the election. Rightfully so. How do we stop from going crazy? From biting our nails to the bone and grinding our teeth into dust?

The first thing you need to do is ground yourself. What does this mean? You need to bring yourself back into the present. Part of the reason why everyone is so anxious now is because we’re trying to anticipate an outcome. We’re trying to see the future and imagine a world where both candidates have already won. We’re trying to imagine the chaos so we can prepare, thus freaking ourselves out because despite all the scary daydreaming and anxious thinking, we still don’t know what’s going to happen.

To avoid increasing anxiety levels, we have to refocus to the present. To now. We have to ground. How?

Comfort Items

That’s right. Dig out that old stuffed animal. Go buy that cute bunny rabbit you’ve been eyeballing. Burrow under some blankets. I’ve discovered that finding something soft to stimulate your sense of touch helps with high anxiety levels. Enveloping yourself in a fleece blanket is just fine. It’s cold outside anyways, so why not?

Some of my comfort items 😊

Maybe there’s a really soft sweater buried in the closet somewhere. Or a knitted glove or hat with just the right amount of texture that brings you back. Find it. Hold onto it.

Maybe your comfort items aren’t stuffed animals or blankets. Maybe crystals are your thing. I recommend hematite and rose quartz. Every time you remember you’re carrying them, let your next memory be one of warmth and laughter.

I walk around with hematite, amethyst, and rose quartz these days. Maybe consider adding some amethyst to your pocket. Now, this isn’t a cure all. I think there is more doubt about the healing properties of crystals anyway (and I am by no means a replacement for a therapist or psychiatrist), but knowing I had something physical in my hand to keep the thought of self-directed good will and grace alive . . . It helps.

Good Smells

Maybe it’s just me, but I love aromatherapy. Lavender is really that girl. Sweet citrus smells like orange or lemon, though you’d probably have better luck with orange, are also a second favorite. I’m currently enjoying Hem’s Anti-stress incense cones.

No incense on you? What about your favorite lotion or perfume? Overwhelming your nose with familiar smells should help you stay grounded. Maybe go back in time a little and remember a great day you had wearing this certain smell.

Now that we’re somewhat present, what else should we do?

Routine self-evaluation: body first

Are your jaw muscles sore from grinding your teeth? Is your head aching from a crink in your neck because you slept weirdly (or didn’t) last night? Take whatever pain killers you need, but no more than what works. If it usually only takes two ibuprofen for a pain to go away, only take two.

Are you hungry from skipping lunch? Is your stomach numb from not eating? Find a small snack to “wake your belly up”. Thirsty too? Maybe treat yourself to your favorite wintery drink. Grab a pumpkin spice latte from Starbucks. Who cares? This is about you and making sure that you are okay.

Maybe it’s the little things now. Are your feet cold? Are chapped lips making it hard to drink? Do the little things. Put your hair back in a ponytail. Moisturize those dry curls. Spend time on yourself, making sure every single physical part of you is up to par.

Routine self-evaluation: emotions next

Numb from dreading the results from the election? Write this down in your journal. You have to reconnect to yourself Remember how you’re feeling right now. Don’t dissociate. Stay present.

Journaling has a way of straightening out everything in your mind. Take your time with it. There’s no need to rush.

Are there leftover anxieties from the week before that are still nagging you? Write those down, too. Hell, if you can, maybe walk yourself through these anxieties out loud. Tell yourself those problems are over. Tell yourself you will survive all of your new problems. Some of these problems aren’t even problems. Just worries. And you can do something about that.

Ultimately: Stay Present, but Avoid Stress

What does this mean?

Music. Netflix. Hulu. Disney+. Apple TV. Grounding yourself means being in the present moment, but when you find yourself needing to drift off, give yourself permission to leave for a story . . . But always come back.

Pull up an audiobook, maybe a favorite story from childhood. Return to one of your old hobbies, too! Jump into a Skillshare class. Maybe watch those youtube videos you keep putting off. Keep your brain stimulated, but not stressed.

Pray, if you do this. Vent aloud, if you do this. Speak what’s on your mind to the walls if you have to. Call some friends and maybe it can turn into a venting session. Everyone is feeling anxious about this election, and there is no shame in needing someone to confide to.

Remember that everything will be okay. Things may look crazy for a while, maybe even violently unfamiliar, but it won’t always look like this, if this comes to pass. Stay grounded. Stay present in your life. It’s okay to be anxious, but remember what’s most important: you. If you need to disconnect and go dark from the internet for your own sake, do it. You need to be okay . . . And you will be.

Here is what I’ll be doing for the next few days.

  • Knitting
  • Playing my ukulele
  • Watching The Good Place on Netflix
  • Covering myself in good smells
  • Writing in my journal
  • Inhaling lavender oil’s sweet sweet aroma
  • Drafting my review of The Haunting of Bly Manor
  • Brainstorming for Lightningborn (more about this on Wednesday!)

Let me know if there is anything I can do to support you.

Stay safe! ❤

~Taia