How to Cope with Election Anxiety

in Recovery resources
Published Nov 2, 2020

There is a heightened sense of anxiety in the US this week as we prepare for the results of the presidential election. People in recovery are especially vulnerable to additional stress and anxiety, as they can be factors leading to relapse. It is critical that those in recovery have a plan of action to support themselves through this week. We’ve included our top tips for election-anxiety support.

 

Election anxiety support ideas

  1. Stay connected. List your support system and check-in with them regularly this week, even if that is hourly. When defining that support system consider who makes you feel safe, who can you express yourself to freely without judgment, and which people in your life will best support you during emotionally challenging times.
  2. Limit media consumption. While it may feel important to know exactly what is happening, checking social media and news channels constantly can raise anxiety levels. Try to limit media consumption to a couple of times per day, if at all.
  3. Make a plan for a non-election related activity. You might choose to visit a friend’s house for a movie night, plan a relaxing night of self-care (take a bath, give yourself a pedicure, or read a book).
  4. Create a comfortable environment. Consider creating a safe space that is extra comforting. Think: soft blankets, extra cushions and hot tea. This space should be a place you can retreat to that is free from social media, phones, and any other electronic devices.
  5. Take a mental health day. Take a day off this week (if possible and if that would be helpful to you) and plan a day out. You could get out in nature — visit the beach or go for a hike. You might want to visit a museum or art gallery. You could also take a wintery walk on a scenic route.
  6. Exercise: get your blood pumping and release extra endorphins to help process those stress hormones. You could try a yoga class, hike, go to the gym, take a plunge into a pool, or get on your bike and go for a long ride.
  7. Expect feelings. Feelings are an everyday part of life in recovery and it’s okay to anticipate that you might feel a heightened sense of emotion, perhaps even overwhelm. Know that it is okay to feel those feelings without taking actions that might harm your recovery. Instead you could lean on recovery supports, like planning a therapy session, or attending a meeting.
  8. Watch out for HALT. Don’t get too hungry, angry, lonely, or tired. Take extra care to nurture yourself this week.
  9. Consider increasing stress-relieving activities: deep breathing, meditation, yoga Nidra, and body scans are all great ways to reduce stress levels.
  10. Sleep. Make a concerted effort to go to bed early this week and take the rest your body needs.

 

If you or a loved one is struggling with addiction or relapse, contact us today for a free and confidential assessment. At Gallus Medical Detox Centers, we bring compassion to the commotion. Peace to the pain. Empowerment to the powerless. If you or someone you know needs support with addiction problems, bring us your battle. Call us today and take the best, first step towards recovery: 720-704-1432