Is it just me or is the world drowning in negativity right now? The 2016 election seemed to bring about this collective depression, and personally, I want out.
Truth be told, I’m not thrilled with the election results. I wouldn’t have been thrilled if the runner-up had been chosen. My favorite candidates were knocked out months ago, so I already went through a bout of extreme election disappointment. Fortunately, it doesn’t last forever. For now, I’ll offer up a few ways to calm the sting.
It’s alright, you can have a little mourning period. It’s healthy to feel those feelings so they can run their course. Be sad, be mad, stomp, say bad words. Then, you will feel freer to accept it and move on.
Some natural health advocates claim that repressed emotions are stored in the organs. Though I don’t know enough about that, I do know that stress hormones exist and they have to go through the regular detoxification-elimination channels, just like everything else. So sure, in a material sense, it’s probably a good idea to let it all out, just in case the alternative is some form of stress-hormone buildup.
Take a social media break
I don’t know about yours, but my feed is sharing nothing but gloom and doom. Step away, and don’t look back until the world is onto something else and you can go back to your regularly scheduled news sensations that switch gears every twelve minutes.
Focus on NOW
Feelings can range from disbelief to disappointment to panic. We can’t face our everyday challenges if we can’t focus, so for now, there is only now. Right now.
Today, in this very moment, you are reading some non-essential stuff written by a regular person. That tells me you have a roof over your head, a few minutes here and there to burn, and your necessities are covered with enough left over to put toward internet access. You’re fine. Right now, you’re fine. Keep reminding yourself that everything is fine, until you get your bearings. Once you get your bearings, you can decide what actions you want to take.
Focus on the past breeds regret, and focus on the future breeds worry. You don’t need either of those things. Let’s focus on getting our meters back to zero.
Get behind a cause
If you’re facing election disappointment, it’s likely because you have some views that either will not be supported or that will be downright opposed. The great thing about this country is that you haven’t completely forked over your voice and influence.
Volunteer, start attending your town hall meetings, join a service project, organize grassroots campaigns for the changes you want to see. Joining forces with like-minded individuals toward a goal empowers us and makes us feel like we’re getting somewhere.
Bernie Sanders reminded us over and over that throughout history, big change always happened from the bottom up, and if you look at the most notable events in history, he’s right. (Oops, did I just reveal my candidate of choice?)
In the grand scheme of things, four years is a blip in time. We’ll have many chances to get a set of candidates that align with our values, and plenty of down-ballot elections will happen in between. An unfavorable election result might feel like a silencing, but it’s not.