I stayed up last night waiting for the good news.
I may have even woken early this morning in hopes of having answers to which direction this country likely will travel over the next four years.
Instead, I was met with "we’re close," and no definitive answer to how long it will take before this guessing game ends.
So how do we not lose our whole minds while we wait for these election results:
1. Develop a thought battle plan. This is not the time to sit back and just let your mind wander to crazyland. We have to be proactive. The relationship between the thoughts we think and the emotions we feel is clear. Anxious thoughts will send the amygdala of the brain, which controls our emotions and fight or flight response into overdrive. To try and balance it out, we must think, even write down rational, less emotion-laden thoughts. One way we can do this is for every time you have a negative thought about the election, have a specific sentence you repeat to yourself. For example, every time you think, “I can’t believe this dude might actually win,” you commit to tell yourself, “This is not what I expected but I will...(be ok, continue to make impact in the areas I can, trust God that it will work out, etc). Or you can complete statements like, “no matter who wins, I am...,” or “no matter who wins, I can...," or "no matter who wins I will...” How you fill in the sentences is up to you. What’s most important is that you reframe your thoughts from what you CAN’T control to what you CAN. Taking back control over runaway thoughts can help reduce your feelings of panic and overwhelm.
2. Call your girlfriends (and do NOT talk about the election). If you can’t resist talking about the election, give yourself a set time to talk about it (like 20 minutes). Set a timer if you have to and move on to regular girlfriend gab. Maybe y’all agree to watch an episode of a show or a movie and call each other at a certain time to discuss it. Continually talking about the election won’t change its outcome but will likely fuel your internal negative emotions and dialogue. Talking with girlfriends is often so soothing for the soul. We all can use this kind of healing experience today.
3. Start moving. The evidence is clear on the natural benefits of exercise on mental health. There is no disputing exercise, especially exercise that engages side to side movement like skating, yoga and walking can help quiet our anxious thoughts. Not feeling motivated? Call a friend, set a time to go for a virtual walk and talk to them on the phone as you walk. This is the time to phone in favors to friends.
4. Pray. Y’all this is a great time to pray. Even if your prayer life is a lil rusty, it really is like riding a bike. But just in case you need a little help. Here's one to get you started:Quiet my heart, oh Lord