Election Self Care Plan
With the elections coming up tomorrow (November 3rd), many people are feeling apprehensive or even anxious. As this election cycle comes to an end, it’s important to take care of ourselves mentally and physically. This is where an election self care plan can come in handy- it can help you think past your feelings to implement strategies that can keep you safe. Use the steps below to guide you through this process.
Start your plan by recognizing facts over fear. It can be easy to get caught up in the “what ifs”, but try to focus on what your current reality is. What does your life look like now? What do you do to feel safe in your everyday life? What do you do to support others in your everyday life? Realistically, how will the election impact you? How can you reasonably support others during and after this election?
Try to plan how you will deal with possible political unrest after the election occurs. Given that this election is very polarized, it’s likely there will be a lot of frustration and anger afterwards, ranging from people starting social media arguments to rioting on the street. How can you protect yourself while this unrest settles down? Do you need to take a break from certain people in your life for a while? Will you be able to stay home if you need to? Would it be safer for you to pick up groceries instead of shopping in the store? Are there certain areas of your city that you should avoid? Who can you call if you feel unsafe and need support?
Try to think out some short-term ways to help yourself feel more regulated. During election day itself, will you have time to process your emotions or to relax? Will journaling help you sort out what you’re feeling? Should you limit your social media usage to avoid feeling overwhelmed by the news?
What can you do to bring joy to your day? (Examples of this include: watching a nostalgic movie, calling supportive friends, ordering or cooking your favorite food, or going on a walk)
Consider how the results of the election will affect you long-term. What do you need to sustain your activism? How will you interact with people who you feel voted against your rights? Do you need to re-evaluate relationships that feel draining because of a lack of support? What coping strategies can you use in the future?
Systemic injustice is hard to fight, and can easily feel overwhelming. That’s why we should start small. First take care of yourself, then try to help others around you. It can help to define concrete ways to help yourself feel sustained and safe for the present and the future. Try to think about things openly and realistically as you develop coping strategies.
Remember that you are likely not alone with what you are feeling, and that you do not have to struggle with these feelings by yourself. If you need immediate help with a mental health concern, please refer to the numbers below.
Larimer County Connections: 970-221-5551
Colorado Crisis Services: call 1-844-493-8255 OR text TALK to 38255.
Crisis Text Line: Text HOME to 741741
National Suicide Prevention Lifeline: 1-800-273-8255