By now, you probably know you aren’t the only person stressing about Donald Trump leading the quest to “Make America Great Again”. According to a 2017 study conducted by the American Psychological Association, 57 percent of Americans report being stressed out by the current political climate. The big question is: How do you cope?
Unfortunately, there isn’t just one answer. You have to create the ideal medley of coping mechanisms—tools that help you de-stress in a healthy way— that work for you based on your personal circumstances (think affiliations, job and finances), It’s important to be proactive about identifying the tools that will work best for you. Check out the items below. Take what you like, and pass the rest along to loved ones. They work when you work them.
The big question is: How do you cope?
Create the ideal medley of coping mechanisms—tools that help you de-stress in a healthy way— that work for you based on your personal circumstances (think affiliations, job and finances).
1 Don’t Obsess. It’s okay to periodically exchange thoughts about your viewpoints and concerns with your like-minded friends and loved ones, or even engage in healthy discussions with folks who offer opposing views. The problem arises when you elect to engage in dogmatic debates that drain your emotional and physical energy or indulge in repetitious circular discussions on moot points. Press pause immediately when this begins to happen. Most importantly, check your ego at the door. Even if you are an savvy and eloquent debater, your ability to sway another person’s core values is limited.
2Shake Hands, Say Hello. Fear and anxiety fuel stereotypical and dismissive behavior. Embrace the humanity in everyone. Engage with others in a genuine and positive way regardless of what or who you believe them to be. Give folks the chance to experience the authentic person you are and vice versa.
3Take Action. Speak to officials. Vote. Rally. Be pro-active and take steps to actualize the differences you’d like to see, especially locally. Talking may feel cathartic in the moment but being part the movement to actualize true change will create a larger sense of fulfillment.
4 Address Worst Case Scenarios. Fears are very real to those who experience them. As the political climate continues to become more contentious, people have probable and improbable worries that cause daily angst. Instead of vacillating between panic and despair, create a plan that tackles the issues that will arise if the proverbial ish hits the ceiling. For example, if you dread what will happen if folks legally arm themselves perhaps gun training courses will leave you feeling less vulnerable—it’s better than whining. If you’re anxious about a terrorist attack stateside maybe it’s time to prepare an emergency shelter space and to-go bag. Do whatever it takes to remove the fear of being completely vulnerable.
5 Be Happy. Yes, times are tough. Still, it’s important to make room for the folks and experiences that motivate you to want the world to be a better place. Spend quality time with your favorite people. Set up hot dates.Take a trip. Recharge and do the things that make life meaningful.