Understanding Outcomes: How to Handle Election Results that Can Negatively Impact You
With one election season right behind us and people already talking of the ones to come, it can seem like our political world is zooming by, and for some of us negatively. It is easy to put a lot of faith into candidates, or be strongly against one and their policies but when things don’t go the way we had hoped it’s also easy to wallow in frustration. Although at times it feels like the world may never change, or that everything is at the worst in can be it is important that we rise up in times of political trouble and also take care of ourselves.
First and foremost, take a break. Get off of twitter, stop fighting with your older relatives on facebook, don’t obsessively read every news update. It doesn’t make you a bad person to want to detox from information that is hurting you or causing you stress and anxiety. Indulge yourself in things that make you happy like binge-watching your favorite show, hanging out with your friends and support system, or calling your family back home to debrief and let everything out. There is no reason to stress to the point of tears over something so far out of your reach, which I know is easier said than done, so start slowly. Maybe delete social media, maybe take a nap. Do whatever you can to make yourself feel better, nothing is too small.
Throw yourself into productivity. Sometimes all you need is work that will take your mind off the stressor at hand and make you feel productive at the same time. Study for your finals coming up, finish up your final paper, complete your end of semester projects, actually read your textbooks. Do something that will benefit you in addition to taking your mind away for politics even if it’s just for a bit.
Get fired up. Maybe you’re the opposite. Maybe undesired outcomes fuel a fire in you that makes you want to be even more politically active. Host on-campus meetings about the world and global issues that are affecting all of us, or are important even if they aren’t. Speak with like-minded individuals so you can articulate arguments and have mature proactive conversation instead of sulking in frustration. Host a workshop, sign petitions, go to protests, write about it. If facing it head on is what makes you feel best, do just that.
Prepare. Know that this probably isn’t the last time the world will let you down. Understand that these are all things you can do repeatedly and learn how to be fully compassionate about these issues in a way that won’t hit too hard after the results come in.
If any of these seem impossible and if you and your family are being actively targeted there are resources you can go to, and there are people who will fight for you. Tell your story, and maybe we can help change your world.