3 Ways to Be Kind to Yourself in Today's Triggering Political Climate
September 28, 2018
Iam a political junkie–I consume tweets, newspaper headlines, and podcasts without a second thought of how these things affect my wellness.
If you have been feeling like you need a break from all of the political talk infiltrated into our daily lives, you aren’t alone. A 2017 survey by the American Psychological Association showed that the most common source for stress for Americans was the state of our nation, coming in above money and work.
It doesn’t matter which side of the political aisle you fall on; we all need a break from the 24-hour-a-day news cycle so that it doesn’t inundate every aspect of our lives.
If you feel like you need to practice self-care—especially during these triggering Supreme Court hearings and ahead of this year’s midterm elections—know that's more than OK. These three steps can help you be kind to yourself in the face of stress.
1. Downsize Your Consumption
Even if you want to be politically engaged and aware, know it's OK—and necessary—to set some boundaries.
Maybe it's time to unsubscribe from a few email lists that provide continuous updates throughout the day. These emails may trigger enduring feelings of hopelessness. If you aren’t ready to hit the unsubscribe button altogether, perhaps you can commit to only reading the headlines.
One way I've been able to set boundaries is waiting to listen to political podcasts until the end of the week. I select one podcast to listen to on Friday morning, and it typically provides a nice recap on the political happenings of the entire week. It feels a lot less daunting to think about politics with the weekend approaching, and I find I'm better at staying grounded while I process the news.
As the great “Notorious RBG,” Ruth Bader Ginsburg, once said, “Reacting in anger or annoyance will not advance one's ability to persuade.”
“Reacting in anger or annoyance will not advance one's ability to persuade.”- Ruth Bader Ginsburg
2. Find Community
Your feelings deserve to be validated by others who feel the same way you do. If you can, try to find like-minded people who hold your same views and concerns. This will help you feel less hopeless and will help you build community. Plus: The momentum of your tribe may inspire a plan of action.
I recently did this by getting involved in a local primary election in my district. I learned that working together as a collective brings you out of feelings of despair and brings you to action; you realize you don’t have to go it alone!
3. Get Involved
Life isn’t as fun on the sidelines. Canvas for a local midterm election, take time to phone bank for a candidate—do something to start feeling like you’re a part of the political process. It may help you to feel less apathetic and more empowered.
Lastly, don’t forget to exercise your right to vote. It's one of the best—and easiest—ways to make an impact, and a chance for you to have a say in where the situation goes. If you're in the U.S. and aren't register to vote, head here. It'll take you two minutes—promise. Voting is power, and doing so will only help you feel more in control.
I'll see you at the polls—but until then, take care.
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