It is Time to Consider a Post-Election Coping Plan

The stress is real. Here are some ways to manage it.

Jennifer A. King

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Photo by Melanie Wasser on Unsplash

For months now, organizations, groups and movements across the country have worked to encourage every eligible American to create and implement a voting plan amid COVID-19 complications. Text messages, mailers pile up on digital and physical surfaces: are you registered? Will you vote by mail? In person? Early? On Election Day?

Smart things to consider, as we tend to manage stress better when we have a plan and we know what to expect.

Once our votes are cast, though . . . then what?

In swing states, like the one in which I am sitting, there are fears about the accuracy of mail-in ballots, ballot tampering, voter fraud, polling place intimidation, as well as unreasonably long waits and limited access to polling places on Election Day. Some of this is due to a consistent stream of misinformation and belligerence posted to social media by the former reality television host who lives in the White House. There are questions about whether the election results will be accepted or disputed. There are concerns about safety in the days that follow, as a variety of sources warn about the possibilities of destruction and violence post-election.

Whether or not these fears are ultimately founded, we are likely in for a long election night and a rough post-election period. With your voting plan solidified, it is time to consider your post-election coping plan. Here are some strategies for managing anxiety and stress on election day and every day after.

Scroll carefully.

Are you a doomscroller? Consider setting limits to your news and social media consumption. Choose one or two reliable sources to check, and be honest with yourself about how frequently doing this will keep you informed versus freak you out. Plan for some relaxation before and after engaging with these sources.

Move intentionally.

Get your body moving in ways that feel good to you. Maybe this means dancing, or stretching, or walking. Can you get outside for some fresh air? Give yourself small doses of these movements throughout the day, every day, in order to regulate your likely activated nervous…

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Jennifer A. King

Mother. Social Work Educator. Consultant. Writer. Unschooler. Trauma-Informed. @drjennyking