A Wild Season in a Wild Year
I’m just able to cope.
I worked at the Board of Elections one afternoon to help take temperatures during early voting. During my shift, there must have been 200 people. And everyone seemed excited to be voting. Everyone was kind regardless of their voting preference, age, or culture.
One guy told me he was 100 years old. Another told me he’d fought in WWII, Korea, and Vietnam–he was 95. One fellow stood in line a bit too long and needed to sit down for a moment. A few had campaign shirts or masks that they covered up when I told them it was against the law to wear campaign material in a polling area.
Everyone was kind. Everyone wore masks. Everyone was glad to have their temps taken. Despite all the social media hype and fearmongering happening, the 200 people I met, and the Election Staff were kind, helpful, and considerate. It opened my eyes.
I have to admit that this election season has raised my anxiousness to a new level. And I have implemented some self-care techniques to help me get through. Here are a few ideas I found at Americans of Conscience.
Switch to a “high fiber” media diet. Stop consuming snacky news that covers only outrageous highlights, lacks depth and nuance, and feeds fear and fury. High-quality media should empower.
Unplug–If you felt enraged, fearful, or hostile even after you log off, cut back. This requires discipline, but you will feel saner (not hyperbole) and have the energy for more worthwhile pursuits like self-care and community care.
Get Connected - Fear grows in isolation. If you’re already part of a warm and supportive community, you’ve struck gold. If not, identify at least one buddy you’re comfortable talking with honestly and who listens well.
Create comfort in your living space. What helps you feel safe, calm, and resourceful in times of stress? Warm hugs, clean sheets, new batteries in the smoke alarms?
We are all dealing with so much right now between the fear of COVID and the upcoming elections. This is a time to practice compassion and self-care, practice looking at each other as a brother or sister and not an enemy or ally, to practice a moment of gratitude.
It is OK to step out of the mayhem for a while. This will get us through this moment in time and perhaps find happiness in our lifetime.