Our current political landscape is unleashing burning indignation and emotional distress for some of us. Many will feel that they will be hated and attacked for the candidates they voted for and policies not being pushed forward. As a result, this may lead to many feeling despondent, angry, disheartened, and depressed. According to the American Psychological Association’s Stress in America Survey, 68% of Americans feel they are stressed by the current political climate. This type of stress can lead to headaches, issues with sleeping, tension and irritability.
Here is a list of coping mechanisms that can help us navigate through these difficult moments:
We may have people on our timelines that express strong political views. People may find it offensive and disheartening when someone insults their political affiliation regularly. In addition, mendacious propaganda also may cause us to distress.
Switching off your social media for a while may prove to be a great boon to your mental health. If you must be on social media, you can unfollow some of the people who are constantly sharing their vitriol. In extreme cases, you can block them too.
Engage in fun activities
Engage in activities that everyone will have fun doing. Engaging in a fun activity is the perfect distraction from any talk of politics.
Excuse yourself from the media for a while, perhaps a day or two. This includes TV, social media, and radio. Instead, watch a favourite film, or listen to music.
Realign your focus
Focus on the things that are important to you. These things can include spending time with family, focus on a hobby, read a book or do a project you have been putting off.
The holidays are approaching. It may be a good idea to set the tone for your family gathering. If you know someone who will be pushing their political views at the dinner table or over a game of golf, make sure you make it a rule that politics will not be discussed during times of fellowship and fun.
Talk to someone
It doesn’t have to be a professional. It can be a trusted friend or family member that will be a listening ear and not argue with you. Tell this person all that you are feeling and do not hold back.
it is good to focus on our personal growth and not on the things that are out of our control. The sanity of our mental health is paramount to our well being overall.
Chris Laird is a mental health advocate.