Are you suffering from political stress? Studies say that over 60% of us are really letting it get to us. I don’t know about you, but I have seen so much hatred and vitriol brought out in the last few years. I am over the stress, the fear, and the actual heartbreak of everything that’s happened. The current political climate has been such an eye-opening and divisive experience, at least for me.
No matter what your political associations I think we can all agree that the last few years have caused discomfort at the very least in all of our lives. Relationships have been strained and tested and just everyone has passionate opinions that have caused a rift in friendships. For some people, it’s worth it and for some, it’s not.
At the very least, it’s showed us what we’re all willing to stand up for.
As someone who is pretty sensitive, empathic, hates confrontation, prone to depression and has anxiety as a near constant companion – I can definitely say that the political climate has had a significant impact on my mental health.
We have been pushed and pressed to be politically active. We have been told that it is our responsibility to speak up. So we do. We have been told over and over again that not engaging and stepping aside is a privilege – and all of that is true. We do have a responsibility to use our voice, to stand up for our political beliefs and to encourage others to do the same.
But it is also important to take care of yourself as well.
Stop overcharging yourself with the same old information and opinions. Turn off the news for now. Stop scouring the internet for the latest scandals, rumors, and gossip.
There is a difference between being politically informed and being politically oversaturated or obsessed. Stay current on what’s going on, do the research you need to do to be comfortable with your own opinions, and then if it’s getting too much for you – step away for a bit.
Fill your cup. Recharge. Go re-enforce your faith in humanity.
If you have that friend that’s always trying to change your mind, or who gets into heated debates with you over everything, tell them to back off. You are not obligated to listen to someone bash you or your beliefs. If you’re open to debate, that’s wonderful, but you are not obligated to listen to people try to change your mind.
If you’re on Facebook “unfollow” those that post nothing but political propaganda. There are people in my life that I love dearly and we’ve mutually decided to just not talk politics because we both respect what the other chooses to believe. It’s a boundary and it’s a healthy one.
It’s so easy to let our feelings about the candidates bleed over onto their supporters. Stop. I know, it’s hard to separate the two, but just stop. (And full disclosure – I’m guilty of this. My mother and I had polarizing political beliefs and I confronted her about it. A year later, she passed away and I sincerely wish that I’d just let it go.) Not everyone who supports once side is a racist or sexist and not everyone that supports the other condones lying and criminal activities. At the end of the day, we all have issues that are important to us. My idea of what is important is probably different than yours.
We all have our fears and you don’t get to decide which ones are valid.
The economy, terrorism, foreign policy, health care – each side believes there’s a different (better) way to deal with these issues and each side also genuinely fears what will happen if we don’t do what’s “right”. Demonizing 50% of the population because they aren’t scared of the same thing you’re scared of isn’t okay. So respect the person even if you can’t respect the opinion. That an important boundary, and a healthy one.
See the Big Picture
We’re going to be okay. We’ll get through this. Support each other. Fight for each other. Lift each other up. Focus on your people. I genuinely believe that at the end of the day the more we come together instead of separating ourselves, the stronger we’ll be. #United
Don’t take the bait
At this point, what you say has a .05% of changing someone’s mind. Stop engaging in the debates and the arguing. If someone asks a sincere question or is undecided and asks for opinions, by all means, make your case. But stop biting on all of those anti-whoever posts and memes. If you see a pro-whatever post that you disagree with, ask yourself if making your comment is going to have any effect. Chances are, it won’t. Learn how to keep scrolling, you’ll be much happier for it.