No matter where you fall on the political spectrum, the adrenaline rush after the election concluded has likely left you with many emotions. Many who threw themselves into the election by following the news or engaging in social media may find themselves heavily affected by the news coverage and the opinions of their peers. In fact, the more exposed you are to social media and news coverage, the more likely you are to experience post-election stress. Whether you support the candidate who was elected or not, you are affected by the opinions of others, and may internalize the arguments, backlash and disappointment of those around you.
Our children need not internalize this worry. Make sure you let them know that it’s ok to be disappointed. Especially for younger children, before you provide information, find out what you child’s questions are. Let your children’s questions guide you in knowing what and how much information to share. And if you need help coping, or helping your children cope, there are outlets to help. Our practice has those outlets.
Here are a few things you can do to help you manage your stress.
- Make sure you have compassion for the feelings you are experiencing. Be compassionately curious of your feelings and tell yourself it is okay to have these feelings.
- Disengage from the news and social media in the short term. If you find your stress and concern increasing from poring over Facebook and Twitter posts, take the app off your phone for a bit, and log out of those websites. Turn your television to another channel, read a book. You may not be able to completely disengage from the chatter and noise surrounding the election, but you can make a conscious effort in your home and on your smart phone. If your children want to discuss what the election results mean, you can talk about the ability of our three-branch system to work together in making decisions for the welfare of our country. It has worked like this for 240 years.
- Seek support and give support. You have access to behavioral health supports from our practice, all ready to assist you in processing your feelings. Please contact us at 617-277-7320 to get access to a behavioral health specialist.
- Give back. After election night, a new day arrived. Life continued on—as it will continue to do. You may have feelings of hopelessness or loss of control. One great thing about being an American, is being able support a number of issues that you hold near and dear, and participating in the democratic process. If you feel so moved, volunteer for a special cause or charity—help raise money, donate clothes or books or get involved with fundraising activities. Show up at the soup kitchen and serve the folks in your community who benefit from it. If, in the end, you’d like to contact your legislators to issues you are concerned about—you have the ability to do so. That is part of the democratic process.
Our practice will offer behavioral health support for your family, and tips for coping with stress resulting from the election.