Election Day is now ‘Election Week.’ Here are 50 ways to get through it – CNN

Posted: November 5, 2020 at 7:57 am


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If you're feeling anxious, know that "nothing diminishes anxiety faster than action," according to the late American painter and writer Walter Anderson.

The events of this year have been increasingly volatile and stressful for many people. They include a US presidential impeachment, a pandemic, a fraught election, unemployment, shifts to virtual work and school, and the deaths of cherished celebrities, athletes and loved ones.

So many simultaneous hardships and uncertainties is unusual. On top of all that, Tuesday was the culmination of one of the most polarized presidential elections in US history and it's not over.

As the ballot counts keep changing and circumstances shift, "the news cycle is so quick and people are feeling conflicted. They really want to know what's going on, but then they get overloaded ... and very distressed with what they hear."

When there is so much uncertainty this week, turning your attention to fun activities, friends and family, acts of service and amazing discoveries can help to alleviate your anxiety and ward off depression.

"One crucial factor of resilience is being proactive," Alvord said. "Being proactive means doing good, helpful actions, which means taking initiative. That means you are problem-solving."

Other keys to resilience are finding support in other people and "being able just to sit with the discomfort" which starts with abandoning your expectations.

"If we expect that (final election results are) going to take a little while, it's a lot easier to put all this in perspective," Alvord said. "But if we want results quickly, then we're going to be continually not just disappointed, but up and down with the emotional roller coaster."

While we wait for election results, you can take steps to reduce stress during these next few nerve-racking hours or days.

11. Switch your devices to airplane mode and unplug for one hour. The rapids of countless notifications and headlines about the pandemic, the election, homeschooling, unemployment and the economy have been pulling at us all year. Putting your phone down can help you feel less overwhelmed.

20. Phone a friend. Remind yourself that you're not alone by calling a friend to hash out your election worries.

23. Make a "come together" sign. Put a picture of the Beatles on the sign for your front yard and post it on Facebook. We could all use a warmhearted reminder of our similarities and abilities to work together for the collective good.

30. Make a sandwich. Have a favorite sandwich or one you want to try? Make it and enjoy. And instead of arguing with your family over politics, maybe you should debate about what makes a sandwich a sandwich.

49. Start a gratitude journal. Some people swear by keeping a daily gratitude journal to jot down a few people and/or things they're thankful for. The practice can help you stay afloat through depression and improve your happiness and relationships.

50. Volunteer for causes you care about. Use your negative emotions or noble passions to actively support causes that you care about, which can add meaning to your life.

CNN's Katia Hetter, Sandee LaMotte, Faye Chiu and Leanza Abucayan contributed to this story.

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Election Day is now 'Election Week.' Here are 50 ways to get through it - CNN

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November 5th, 2020 at 7:57 am

Posted in Self-Help