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Post Elections: Taking Care of Yourself Emotionally and Physically

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Nihal Al Qawasmi

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Election season has been totally absurd from start to finish. Things just kept getting more shocking, more frustrating and more hysterical. And I don’t mean the funny kind of hysterical, I’m talking about the “is this real life???” type of hysterical that makes you want to cry. Elections are over and things still suck.

If the election itself or post-election has affected you negatively in any way, this post is for you. Here’s how to mentally and physically take care of yourself when you’re stressed out.

1. Embrace Your Emotions

If you want to cry, then pour your heart out. Need to yell into your pillow? Go for it. Nothing good comes out of suppressing your feelings. Times are tough, but just remember it’s not the end of the world. How you react to a situation ways much more than the situation itself. Your actions can make or break it. Be proactive. Listen to what your body needs. Kickass!

2. Reach Out To Your Support System 

I can’t stress how crucial this is. Everyone has some type of support system. There’s no shame in reaching out and asking for a helping hand, a shoulder to cry on or an ear to listen to. Also being someone’s support system often helps you realize you should take your own advice. Stick together because there’s power in numbers – and we all know we need unity now more than ever.

3. De-stress, Step Away From Social Media 

I love social media but sometimes, you have to take two steps back and disconnect from that world. Reason being is that it can get extremely toxic very quickly. Don’t interact with trolls. Believe me that block button is heaven-sent! Don’t read aggravating articles. Don’t feed into the vicious cycle. Just do you and de-stress yourself. Come back when you’re ready and not emotionally exhausted.

4. Spread the Kindness, Only Acknowledge Positive Encounters 

It can be tough to focus on the good sometimes, especially when everything around you seems so negative and cynical. However, you need to find that light and hold onto it. Don’t dwell on the racist comment at the supermarket or Islamophobic trolls online. I’m not saying don’t acknowledge them – because let’s be real, it’s hard not to. But don’t give anyone the satisfaction of letting their hateful words and actions affect you. Instead, keep track of all the positive things. Someone compliments your headscarf? Remember that. Someone stands up for you in class when an ignorant student undermines your struggle? Remember that. Someone smiles at you from across the street? Remember that. Sometimes it’s the smallest encounters and acts of kindness that can truly turn someone’s day around. So don’t just acknowledge the positivity, be the positivity.

5. Be Active 

Literally and figuratively. Go outside. Exercise. Move yourself. Visit your local representatives. Voice your concerns. Voice your ideas. Write it all down. Be the change you want to see in the world. Now go forth and conquer!

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