How To Deal With Anxiety In This Political Climate
I am right there with you — it's a stressful time to be alive. Dealing with anxiety in this political climate is not an easy thing to do, what with the breaking news updates streaming in every time you even think about looking at your phone. How are you supposed to pay attention to the news without going crazy? There are a number of strategies that you can use, but it all boils down to four things: limiting your news consumption, self care, support, and resistance.
I know it's a lot to ask, and I'm having a lot of trouble with it myself, but if you're feeling a lot of politics-related anxiety, it's absolutely imperative that you give yourself some time away from those news alerts. Designate an hour every day when you'll read the news, or cut yourself off at a certain time. Turn off the push notifications, keep your phone out of your bedroom when you're going to sleep, log off Twitter so you can't keep track of whatever it is everyone's blowing up about this time. It'll be there when you get back, and you'll feel more refreshed and able to take it in. If you're having trouble sleeping because your brain is constantly looping through the news cycle, then walking away from social media in the evenings should be the first thing that you do.
Next comes the big buzzword of the day: self-care. Listen to your body, and do what it needs. Is it a 15-minute break for a few sun salutations? Go for it. Is it a salad? Do it. Is it some really luxuriant baked goods? That's fine, too, in moderation, of course. When it comes to self care, the experts tend to recommend being active and going outside as a good mechanism for coping with anxiety, just because of what it'll do to your brain. Keeping yourself healthy is also really important — don't let the latest news get you down to the point that you let yourself go completely. And while a drink may take the edge off, don't let yourself turn to alcohol as your main coping mechanism.
Next, it's important that you have a good support system, whether it's friends and family to blow off steam with or a pet pal to cuddle with and lower your heart rate. Yes, it's worthwhile to talk to people on the other side of the aisle — but don't beat yourself up if even calm arguments stress you out. Sometimes, venting to someone who agrees with you is the best thing.
Finally, one of the absolute best ways to get rid of Trumpian anxiety is to direct your energy on an effective form of resistance. Instead of reading through absurd comment threads on the internet, use that time to volunteer with an organization standing up for what you believe in or raise money for a specific cause that you care about. You'll feel like you're working for something instead of just passively consuming bad news, which will make it at least slightly more bearable.
It's a trying time, and it's going to get worse before it gets better. But just think — the anxiety prevention techniques that you learn and perfect now will only help you to be more resilient in the future. Once Trump is out of office — and that day will come, rest assured — you'll be able to handle, well, anything.