Managing Election Related Stress

National election cycles have caused particular anxiety for many of us over the past few years.  Here are some things you can do to cope.
  • Stay in the present moment - Catch yourself if you are getting stuck in worst-case scenarios or predicting future catastrophies.  Try a mindfulness meditation, which brings us into the present moment, and helps us focus less on fear about the future.  Check out our Self-Help Videos, which include practices like Square Breath, Deep Breathing, and Grounding.
  • Make time for regular self-care - Start with the basics - getting enough sleep, eating regularly, staying hydrated, getting exercise.  Also consider fun, relaxing, or energizing activities that usually work well for you.  If those are not soothing you as usual, get creative and try some new things.  Sometimes when our stress changes, our coping strategies need to evolve as well.  Consider our list of Pleasant Activities.
  • Limit your news intake -  Don’t worry about following every news alert - when there are big developments, you will hear them.  Develop a containing routine that works for you, such as limiting checking the headlines to a few times throughout the day, muting commercials, etc.  Be especially careful about taking in news right before bed, which may disrupt your sleep.  
  • Follow reputable news sources.  Use resources such as or this How to Spot Fake News Infographic to evaluate whether sources are reliable.  Do not put energy toward reports that are not confirmed by multiple, reputable sources.
  • Be mindful of social media use - Engaging with strong opinions online can be overwhelming.  Pay attention to how your social media intake is affecting your mood.  Seek out accounts that make you feel positive and connected, and avoid those that make you angry or depressed.  For more information, check out our video on doing a Social Media Cleanse.
  • Balance your schedule - Keep yourself engaged in a variety of activities.  Spend time with friends and family talking about other things, get outdoors, exercise, and make time for hobbies.
  • Stay active and engaged - Think about how you can affect positive change, however small it might feel. This might mean participating in a protest, writing a letter, donating to a cause you believe in, educating yourself, or having an honest conversation in your circle of influence.  Check out Social Justice and Wellness for ideas about how to stay balanced as you engage in action.
  • Seek support - Connect with others who understand how you feel.  It will also help them to feel less alone.  Consider trying a Counseling Group to connect with other students.
  • Express yourself - let your feelings out through journaling, art, music, dance, or talking - whatever works for you.