If you're freaking out over the election results right now, you're among many Americans, regardless of political alignment. This election season has been stressful AF, and tonight can safely be called the most intense night of 2016. If you're feeling sick while painstakingly waiting for the results to roll in, there are tons of things you could be doing right now to help ease your election anxieties.
Honestly, just the sight of seeing any electoral votes go to Donald Trump has been setting off major alarms in my mind all night. But feeling nervous about the current political possibilities is actually totally normal this year. An October 2016 American Psychological Association survey found that 56 percent of Millennials say that the 2016 election is "a very or somewhat significant" source of stress in their lives. If you're among the majority of Millennials who can't stop worrying on election night, then maybe it's time to consider taking a step back from your livestream and chill out for a few minutes.
"Watching each return and every news story can increase feelings of anxiety and does not change the eventual outcome," Tabitha Westbrook, LPCA, tells Bustle. "Steering clear of the news, Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and even Snapchat, can help reduce feelings of anxiety for some people."
Trust me, the results will keep rolling in whether your eyes are glued to your TV screen or not. Here are nine things to do right now if you're freaking out about the election results:
Calming yourself down can be as easy as just focusing on your breath. Take slow, deep breaths to relax your nerves. Spending as little as five minutes being mindful about your breath is enough to help reduce stress.
2. Turn Off The TV
Out of sight, out of mind. If you're seriously bugging from the election coverage, take a break from it. That doesn't mean you need to turn it off for the night, but just stepping away from the TV for five or 10 minutes will help ease your election anxieties.
3. Do Some Yoga
We all know yoga is super useful at calming your mind and body. Try doing some of these poses to help relieve any tension. It'll also help you with that deep breathing from #1.
4. Talk It Out
Discussing your anxieties can help you cope with any stress that you're feeling. Acknowledging your feelings and talking them through with someone will help, and may even lead to finding out that you're not alone about your fears and stress. It's likely that your friends are feeling the same way, and talking it out will help you all know that you're not alone in this.
5. Seek Out Distractions
It's 2016, so all of your distractions likely involve social media — which is swarmed with election coverage right now. But there are tons of other outlets you can use to get your mind off the results. Find a movie to watch on Netflix or listen to music to help put your election anxieties to rest.
6. Take A Shower
If you're feeling tense, taking a warm shower may be exactly what you need. And unless you have a TV in your bathroom, it's also a good way to temporarily distance yourself from the election coverage.
7. Laugh It Off
If you're feeling nervous, convert some of that energy into laughter. Yes, this election is pretty serious, but it's still something you can joke about — especially if it helps ease any stress, like these tweets. There's also tons of election-themed songs, GIFs, and memes on the internet you can look at if you need a good chuckle.
8. Go To Sleep
If you realize that your stress is too much to deal with, maybe it's time to stop watching the coverage for good. Sleep is a great way to reduce stress, and it'll certainly make the time go by faster. Don't worry, the results will be finished when you wake up, so cut the journey short and just embrace the results tomorrow morning.
9. Realize This Isn't The End Of The World
I'm absolutely guilty of feeling this way, but if your candidate doesn't win, you're not doomed. You're not going to die instantly if Trump wins the presidency (even though it can feel like you might). You still have people that love you and you'll get through this election night.
"Remind yourself this is not a doomsday situation," Ken Yeager, Director of the Stress, Trauma and Resilience (STAR) Program at The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center, tells Bustle. "Remember the president is one part of a very large and complex political system of checks and balances. Not all of the doom and gloom is likely to happen.
Election stress is so real, but you're not alone. Whatever happens, there are ways to deal with your anxieties surrounding the presidential results.
Images: Hannah Burton/Bustle; Giphy; Twitter