Coping with Election Stress
Recommendations from APA and Spirit
by Lori Lipten, M.A.
If you are feeling overwhelmed or profoundly concerned about the country's upcoming election, you are not alone. According to the American Psychological Association, 52% of us Americans are freaking out about this election.
So, how do we deal with this stress?
After reviewing the American Psychological Association recommendations, I asked Spirit for guidance and here is the combined list of tips:
1. Step away from media sources.
Remain engaged and informed, but do not over indulge in media that discusses politics, particularly in a partisan or biased manner. Get the facts, do your research but then power down and step away.
2. Spend time in nature.
Walk outside and take in the currency of nature's life force. Just 20 minutes a day will open your energy field enough to release pent up stress. If possible, get direct sunlight on your skin and do not wear sunglasses. Walk near trees, or barefoot on the earth (if you can do so safely). Take in the exquisiteness of your surroundings and relish in the experience daily.
3. Be a positive force in the world
Turn your focus on where you can serve. Volunteer in the areas that concern you most. Become active in changing environmental policies, advocate for veterans; work in a homeless shelter; give to the humane society; work with children in high risk areas; spend time with someone in hospice. Rather than stew, take bold action that makes a difference in the areas of life that matter most to you.
4. Set Boundaries with friends and family
If discussing politics is anxiety provoking, establish a healthy boundary by telling your friends and family that you won't be discussing the elections with them. Do this on-line or elsewhere, when necessary. Take active measures to ensure you're free from hostile or instigating conversations. And leave if the situation is not serving your highest good.
5. Engage in Creative or Joyful Activities
Spend time indulging your senses in creative play or things that inspire and make you laugh. Create a collage of inspiring images; create mandalas, learn a new recipe or tend to plants in your home. Spend time with a pet. Watch something that makes you belly laugh! Give yourself permission and time to experience the joys of life here and now.
6. Remember the Divine
Its easy to get caught up in the political ideas within our system. No matter your persuasion, you are birthed from the Divine Creator of Life and so is everyone. Take time to tune-into your divine nature today and intentionally radiate your compassion to all souls - Red, Blue, Green or otherwise. Whatever happens, you will rise up on November 9, still here and still connected to the Divine. Whatever happens, you have the innate power to respond with compassionate wisdom. As my guides like to say, whatever shows up, you still choose to love, to serve and remember your divine nature, one conscious moment at a time. No matter what happens, you have perfect authority over your inner world and the actions you take daily.
We are privileged to have the right to vote in this representative republic of ours. Many people have fought and died for this right. So do not get disillusioned and disengage from the process. You matter and so does your vote. Taking proactive steps in the direction of your concerns is an act of responsibility and personal empowerment. If you are unsure still, ask the Divine to inspire you.
Remember, whatever happens, the Divine is in charge. We have lived through presidents with whom we agree politically and those we do not. By choosing to see the Divine in the next President and holding them in a higher state of compassion, no matter how you judge their actions, you will shift yourself and them into higher expressions of the Divine. And this is one significant tool for shifting our world into a peacefully diverse expression of light.