We’ve been building up to election day for months on end. We’ve mobilized voters, educated our peers, and together, we’ve set voter turnout records. As an election year coupled with a pandemic and ongoing social unrest, 2020 has been unprecedented to say the least. With the election cycle over and the year coming to an end, it’s time to take a break. It’s time to detox.
1. Cut out the noise
When we’re stressed, it’s easy for us to pick up our phones and scroll through social media, where we see constant updates and discourse on heated topics. To start our detox, we want to make sure that we put our phones down as much as we can. Cutting out the noise from Twitter and Instagram will help us take our minds off of the election. Check out this election distractor from the New York Times.
Similarly, consuming less news during this time is also helpful. You don’t have to feel guilty about being “less tuned in” just because you’re either watching less news or not watching the news at all. It's necessary to set strong boundaries for ourselves with social media and the news. We should try to take just what we need and only from reliable sources.
2. Lean on your support system
It’s always important to reach out to people when you’re going through a stressful time. Though we may not be able to spend time with others in-person, set aside some time to chat with your friends and family. We know everyone is all Zoom-ed out, but a Zoom party might be just what you need at this time.
Just like how we’re setting limits with our social media/news consumption, you’ll also want to let your friends and family know that you don’t want to engage in election talk. Again, set the boundaries that will best support you during this time. You can also use resources like Meetup to chat with people who have similar interests virtually.
3. Go outside
While we may want to stay in bed, going outside has been proven to reduce stress and anxiety. Going outside doesn’t necessarily mean exercising though. Even if you just take a walk for 15 minutes or sit outside to get some fresh air, it will make a big difference in how you feel. If going to a park helps you take your mind off things, find a local park and go enjoy the socially-distanced outdoors. Just don’t forget your mask!
4. Practice self-care
The traditional self-care outlets can also be a good way to take a break and treat yourself. For example, if you prefer to journal, check out these journaling prompts that can help you de-stress. Resting is also self-care, so if you feel like you need more rest, listen to your body even if that requires taking time-off work. And as always, drink plenty of water!
5. Be kind to yourself
Though 2020 feels like a rollercoaster we weren’t ready for, the most important thing to remember is this: You have already done everything you can to make an impact, so be kind to yourself. While you’re following this detox, remind yourself that you’re trying your best and that it’s okay if it takes time to decompress.
Lastly, here are some positive moments for us to look back on, like the young IGNITE womxn who ran in their very first election, the record number of women who ran for Congress, and all of you who ignited the vote in communities across the country.