With election anxiety swirling around us like gale force winds, it's easy to get swept up in the proverbial storm.
Here's a few techniques I've tried that HAVE NOT helped (not recommended):
- Refreshed the 538 election forecast approximately every 5.7 minutes to see if there is an update (awesomely frantic).
- Read pages and pages of political commentary, from regular Joes to talking heads (great if you want to fear for the future of the human race).
- Worried (very effective).
- Visualized a dystopian future (how lovely).
- Watched a movie about a viral outbreak (one of my smartest moves so far).
I finally realized that I needed to coach myself. What do I need to be able to coach myself? I need to cultivate a coaching presence, which means I need to ground and center myself, and get out of my dang monkey mind. Here are a few of my favorite grounding tools:
- Reaching out to my favorite non-anxious people in my life. I had a female friend who did just the trick. Thanks, friend, you know who you are.
- Meditating. Calm.com has some great guided meditations and you can pick the amount of time you want to meditate. And most of the meditations are FREE. Great for beginners and experts.
- Walking. On the days when grounding is really hard I literally concentrate on the weight of my feet on the ground and count my steps. I can usually tell it is working when my thoughts start to clear and more helpful solutions start to emerge. Other folks may want or need more intense exercise.
- Gratitude. When I start to worry about loosing something (political or personal), I use gratitude as an antidote. A wise woman once told me you can't be anxious and grateful at the same time. It may sound hokey as all get out, but it is TRUTH. I'm so grateful for the right to vote. I'm so grateful to have the privilege to write this to you all right now. In this very moment.
- Looking to nature for guidance. A client and I once had a discussion about how much you can learn from a tree that is blowing fiercely in the wind, and how it handles the shock. Have a look outside your window and check it out. Take notes.
Once I'm grounded I can start asking myself about what next best steps I want to take. This post was one of them.
I also realized that regardless of election outcomes, I will still have access to all of those tools, to again, help me decide the next best move.
Thanks for reading. Let me know if you would like to talk more about this process. I'm available at firstname.lastname@example.org.