So the 2020 presidential election came and left you in a depressed emotional rut. Some of us are feeling discouraged, while others are feeling encouraged. Some still are feeling like the future is looking very uncertain. If you have been negatively affected by the election, you want to now know how to deal with post-election depression. Maybe it's not you who is depressed but you notice a loved one that needs some help.
Elections can be very emotionally draining. The nation goes through this process every four years and it doesn't get any easier over time. The most recent election has brought about many emotions and a strikingly high number of people are having anxiety and depression over it. People are experiencing a barrage of emotions. You may be:
And so much more
How has the last election left you feeling? Here we will discuss some ways you can get over your feelings of depression brought on by the election.
When the election comes around, people from all over the world sit down to watch the Presidential debates for hours. Some people invite their family members and their friends over, and many even take personal days or vacation days from work. There are those that will make voting their number one priority and may even take a long trip to go and meet the presidential candidates in person.
The truth is that elections really do influence us all, some in different ways than others. Some of us want to be a part of them and some of us do not. Sadly there are those that are affected so badly that they will need to seek therapy. Discussing the election during therapy sessions can lead others to come to a different perspective and help them to learn to cope with the effects of the election on their psyche.
This problem is so serious that there are even mental health professionals that are affected. Here are a couple of things you can do to rebound from the strong feelings and emotions that you have been having from this election.
1. Make a Difference
Is there a capacity in which you can make a difference in the world around you? Life is hard, and we need each other so we can progress. If each person can reach out to someone who needs compassion and love, we can all move forward together. We must establish common ground and accept that there are things we will disagree on, and that’s totally OK.
2. Be Open With Your Therapist
When you take the step to see a therapist, your therapy is only as successful as your ability to open up. Your therapist is a neutral party, so you don't have to be shy or afraid when it comes to talking about how you feel about politics as a whole.
As we treat patients here at Estadt Psychological services we see that some are afraid of negatively impacting their relationship with their therapist. This is especially true for those who have already established a bond with a particular therapist.
Also, understand that your therapist may tell you they would prefer not to discuss politics.
3. Stop Watching the News
There will be a lot of rehashing of election results and future predictions for a while so you may want to find peace of mind by just avoiding the news. If you continue to pay attention to them, this can only cause distress, so turn off that television and find something else to do with that time. While you are turning off the TV, you also want to stay away from news feeds on your phone or your computer.
4. Be Sensitive and Accepting
Be sensitive to the feelings of others and accept them for what they are. Still, reach out, be nice, and connect with those around you as much as possible. It can be really small stuff, such as offering a kind gesture, holding open a door, etc.
5. Be At Peace With Yourself
If you are feeling guilty for voting a particular way, you should seek peace with yourself. If you are angry at those who supported the other party, or even angry with your own party, you should know these feelings don't change the results. Instead, these feelings have a negative impact on you and you alone.
6. Allow Yourself to Grieve if You Must
If your side lost, you may need to grieve in the same way you would grieve if you had lost a friend to death. Process your thoughts and emotions and do not judge yourself or anybody else that is struggling through this. It is normal to grieve when you lose.
7. Rise Up from the Feelings
You may be having feelings that have you overwhelmed. There is a lot of work to do now that we have a new president, and we need your help. Politicians are not those that make a nation what it is, it is the people that make the nation. Great jobs always have challenges. Now, you need to be ready for any challenges ahead, so when you are done grieving you now need to rise.
8. Avoid Getting into Political Arguments
Once you have risen from your feelings, there are those who may not be as mindful as you are who are still hurting. They may want to keep talking about the election and may be very judgmental and demeaning. Try not to weigh in with them. You can always excuse yourself from the conversation or try to steer it in another direction. You can make a rule of no political talk over Thanksgiving dinner.
9. Look Out for Anxiety and Depression
Some amount of stress is normal for all functioning humans. However, if you are finding yourself worried, feeling hopeless, or experiencing a lot of dread to the point where it is affecting your daily life, you may need to get a mental health screening. We offer a free consultation that may be useful for you. Depression is treatable, and we have the professional staff necessary to get you that help.
10. Start A Self-Care Routine
It doesn’t have to be anything too fancy or expensive. It can be partaking in your favorite exercise, a hot shower or bath, gardening, listening to music, or eating your favorite meal. Whatever helps you to feel like you have some amount of control over your life. Choose that as your method of self-care. As long as you choose something that doesn't have any long term negative effects and is healthy, we encourage you to do it. It's really nice to pamper yourself every now and again.
How is the aftermath of the election for you? Are you noticing a change in yourself or anyone around you? We can help you if this article didn’t adequately equip you with how to deal with post-election depression. Please contact us today.