Has life been monumentally stressful for you lately? All the noise of the election, and negativity in the media and online world been making it hard to stay on task? Me too. Couple that with our own emotional stress, pressures of work, home life, kids, and the holidays looming, and things for some have reached a boiling point. But somehow I’ve found a way to stay positive and hold it together.
It’s not easy to drown out what’s happening in our world. It’s definitely not easy to swallow our emotions and fears, but we all still have to put one foot in front of the other and breathe. We have to care for our children, we have to care for ourselves, and we have to keep going for the betterment of our nation and for our families.
So after much reflection and meditation, I’ve decided to share a few thing that have helped me cope with the toxicity in our world. I hope these too might help you to stay positive when life and our emotions become overwhelming.
how i’ve stayed positive after the election
Be Selective in What You Consume – I’m not talking about french fries and chocolate, though comfort eating has been huge in our house (Chick-Fil-A for days!) I’m talking about our news, and what we choose to read and watch. I haven’t watched much television other than Netflix and basketball, or read anything on the internet unless it’s uplifting. Sure, we can’t bury our heads in the sand, but we also can be selective with what we consume, and read it with a little perspective.
Don’t Engage on Social Media – Trust me, it’s not worth it, I’ve made this mistake. There are many people that are grieving a loss right now, and we have to allow them to go through it, even if you don’t understand it. Some will feel better in just a few days, and others may take weeks or months.
Choose Your Thoughts Carefully – We all have the power to think whatever we want to, and it’s easy to think those doomsday thoughts. It’s also possible to change those thoughts when they come to you. Our thoughts create our emotions, and we can wallow in them, or we can try to change them. It’s not easy to find the lesson in all of this, but it does help when you are ready. Remember the mind is a powerful tool.
Talk to Someone with Differing Views – OK can be a tough one. But it really helped me to listen to someone who voted for the candidate I oppose, and hear what fueled them. I may not agree, but having this discourse was important to my understanding.
Find Gratitude – For us it’s our gratitude tree, or our gratitude journals, but finding something to be thankful for is the first step to coming into the light. Just this one small act of saying thanks can turn your whole outlook around if you allow it.
Practice Self-Care – Do something you love, make the time for it today. Whether it’s a run, or watching a movie and cuddling with your kids, you deserve it. Also if you have to, practice self-care online as well. You don’t have to unfriend everyone you know, but you can unfollow people from your newsfeeds that trigger you. Again, you have the power to consume only what you can handle.
Be Mindful – You may not pray or meditate, but if you ever wanted to, this is the time to start. I love meditation apps, and find a lot of peace from just five minutes of mindful breathing a day. It may not be your thing, but if you’re having a hard time, what have you got to lose? (I wrote a post about mindfulness here, and love the app mentioned in this post.) You can also read an inspirational book to help put things into perspective, here are some of my favs.
Lead with Love – As I read this I realize I sound so granola, but it’s true! I’ve noticed lately that by being kinder, and parenting my kids with more love and understanding, I’m getting the same response in return. The same will happen with your friends or adversaries.
I realize there is still a lot of negativity and anger in our country, and not many people are able to accept what is happening with the future of the U.S. I get it, I don’t like it, but I’m choosing to put it into perspective. Please understand I’m not telling anyone how to feel, react, grieve, behave, and I’m definitely not tell anyone to “get over it”. I’m just sharing what’s helped me stay positive when things have been overwhelming.
I’M WITH YOU friends as we all try to move forward into a uniting our nation. I’m willing to listen if you need me, you can find me on Facebook here.
Beautifully written Kristen!!
J. Ivy Boyter says
If my husband wasn’t home, I wouldn’t have had the TV on … I just don’t like it. For a while, I managed to miss out on what happened after the election. Then, I started noticing it popping up all over my Facebook feed. I was so disappointed to see people were rioting after the election. That doesn’t help.
And, knowing about it didn’t help me at all either. You’re so right … staying positive may take a little more effort than thinking positively. Disconnecting yourself from it, intentionally, for a short distraction is absolutely perfect.
I have taken a bath every night since then! It really helps – the self care. I needed it.
I also have disengaged on social media for the most part.
I talked at length with a close friend who voted for the candidate I didn’t like. (to put it mildly)
Hearing a beautiful and smart woman state her reasons.. while I’m still befuddled by the world.. it helped me understand how many might be.
Janine Huldie says
Honestly great advice and am trying to follow so much of the above myself and even did talk to a friend with a differing view as my own, but still a work in progress as days later still feeling the effects myself. Thanks though for sharing and together I hope we can all get through this together now <3
Jack Steiner says
Solid advice. Sometimes you have to disconnect a bit, take a deep breath and just live.
Helps with processing and getting centered. Life continues regardless of who is in office and we have to have some faith that the world will not end no matter who is elected.
Amanda Elder says
I definitely hear you regarding social media. I have been sucked into arguments on both sides of the spectrum. Glad I removed myself for a bit.
Beautiful and thoughtfully written post. I love your gratitude tree, too. I just received a Gratitude journal from Shannon Cassidy and plan to use it with Kyle daily.