When Tensions Run High

Tensions have been running high for most of 2020 and are particularly escalated during the U.S. election season. This week has the potential to be extra challenging so here are 5 simple steps you can take (after you’ve voted!) to support yourself this week – and anytime there’s increased stress.

  1. Sleep
    Few things make a bigger impact than sleep. If you’re staying up too late or having trouble sleeping, what can you do to improve your sleep? Can you try gradually going to bed earlier? Is there a sleepy-time audio you can listen to to wind down? Even a nice cup of decaf tea and a book can help make you feel sleepier.
  2. Step away from the news/TV/social media
    Information is available 24/7 and our brains simply can’t handle it. Information overload is real, and especially with the 24-hour news cycle the onus is on us to create boundaries around what we consume. Social media can be a great place to connect with loved ones we can’t see in person; but if you notice that it feels more draining than connecting, step away for a while. Have a list of alternative activities ready so that when you feel the urge to scroll it’s easier to do other things.
  3. Use a lifeline
    Literally phone a friend! Call the person. I promise not everything has to be a video chat unless you want it to be. Since most of us experience life behind a screen these days, there’s a real lightness that comes from a good old fashioned phone call. Reach out to someone who makes you feel good.
  4. Laugh
    Whether it’s the new Borat movie or an old favorite, laughter is powerful medicine. Laughter has been shown to reduce blood pressure and increase endorphins (feel good hormones) and I think we can all use some of that right now!
  5. Do an act of kindness
    Helping others has such a powerful impact on the helper. Whether it’s helping someone carry their groceries, supporting a friend in need or picking up trash in your neighborhood, an act of kindness is a great way to improve your mood.

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