philosophy & politics

10 Coping Strategies for 2020 (or; U.S. Election Stress)

by Bridget — November 12, 2020
Coping strategies: Close up of a stressed woman

What a crazy year, if it’s not Covid-19 it’s managing coping strategies for election stress. Who knew one election could be so stressful?

I can barely describe how much of a stress ball I was last week. The election had me on the edge of my seat, chewing my nails down to the quick. I found it difficult to get anything productive accomplished. As it happens, I’m not even American. In fact, I’m a progressive & liberal leaning Canadian artist living in Hong Kong. These feelings had me using all my coping strategies and still feeling pretty bummed.

It broke my heart when the United States chose Trump in 2016–I was shocked & appalled as I sat wallowing at the worst election party ever. What a great disappointment. I was further disgusted later on as this infection seemed to reach people in other countries as they began choosing racism & nationalism over inclusion & empathy. How very sad it is to watch people around the world openly supporting racist & prejudiced thoughts, policies, and ideals.

On top of all of these disturbing revelations, this 2020 election now brought an even darker side; the undermining of the entire system of democracy. It’s one thing to be concerned about equality, fairness, & corruption but it’s a whole other ballpark to make wild accusations with no evidence, and to perpetuate false rumours about ballots, votes, and counts. To suggest that all votes shouldn’t be counted, is completely preposterous and goes against everything that democracy stands for. Trump, the Republicans, and the entire U.S. population should be embarrassed for permitting this type of behaviour – especially from its president.

Biden’s inauguration on January 20th can’t come soon enough. Also, congratulations to Kamala Harris, way to smash the patriarchy. We’ll be expecting great things.

Broken glass with this text: Make sure to wear shoes, ladies. There's glass everywhere.

10 Coping Strategies for Dealing with 2020 and Beyond

1. Meditation

Works like a charm, especially before bed. I’m a fan of Deepak Chopra and his mantra meditations. Any time I’m crazy-stressed I dive right back in to my meditation practice.

2. Reading Books

What better way to escape from real life than by reading a good book? I try to work reading into my bedtime ritual; wash, brush teeth, snuggle up in bed with a good book, and then meditate to sleep. Perfection!

3. A Hot Bath (or Hot Shower if you don’t have a bathtub or you’re pressed for time).

Sometimes a good soak in fragrant bath salts, or a bunch of bubbles, is just what your body needs. Good for the muscles and your brain too. Books & candles go well with bath time rituals as well! Also a cup of tea or a sneaky glass of wine (whiskey would work perfectly as well). Relaxation is key.

4. Aromatherapy

It’s amazing how scent can have a calming effect on our body. Fragrant bath salts, a scented candle, or a good diffuser comes in handy. I usually run a diffuser with lavender oil at night while I’m reading my book. Last week, I was even using it during the day to try to ease stress.

5. Good Food

As we continue with our senses, taste is such a glorious one isn’t it? Delicious food and drink is helpful to put us in good spirits. Home-cooked meals or a night out in a restaurant (when Covid-19 allows) are great ways to enjoy delights of the palate and also time with loved ones. Beware of overindulging! That happened to me at the beginning of the Covid-19 outbreak and I’ve only just managed to work it off.

6. Time with Friends & Family

Again, as coronavirus restrictions allow, time with friends and family are so important for our emotional well being. Even video calls are helpful at keeping in touch with those who lift our spirits and bring us joy. I’ve done a Zoom quiz night with friends and it’s just as fun as being in the same room!

7. Spend Time with Nature (including time with family pets!)

Taking walks in nature with trees and natural scents are a great way to decompress. Just think about how nice the air smells after a good rain. Swimming in an ocean or lake is also a great past time. Anything outdoors really, even if it’s just the local park. Even taking a break to walk your dog, or pet your cat, can do wonders for your soul.

8. Exercise

Moving is a great way to make yourself feel amazing. It could be walking or a good HIIT workout. Home workouts are what I’ve really embraced in the past several months. I’ve been working my butt off (literally, LOL) by getting myself in shape. Find something you love to do and then just do it! I’m going to include sex in here too because if you’re doing it right, you’ll be burning a lot of calories!

9. Make Art

Even if you don’t consider yourself creative try making some art. It’s been proven that just doing art, even if you’re terrible at it, is extremely relaxing and stress relieving. You can get ideas for projects on Youtube or Pinterest; anything from drawing, painting, or collage to knitting, embroidery, or sewing. There are so many things you can try and it doesn’t matter if it’s not perfect.

10. Watch a Little Late Night TV

These days, you don’t even need to watch at night. You can Youtube it in the morning while you’re eating breakfast or brushing your teeth. Anything for a palatable way to absorb the news and great for a good belly laugh or two. Laughter is the best medicine after all!

If you can find last Saturday’s episode of Saturday Night Live it’s LOL funny. Watch here if you’re in the US or using a VPN, otherwise see the highlights below.


BONUS: Listen to Happy or Calming Music

Music has a special way of uplifting our moods but beware of songs that will bring you down and put you into a funk. It just so happens I discovered this handy playlist today… The Happiest Songs According to Science. Have a listen and judge for yourself.

Main image: by David Garrison from Pexels

Let us know your favourite coping strategies in the comments below and good luck staying sane. xoxo

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