Feeling a little off in the days leading up to the election? You’re not alone. A lot of us are feeling stressed, blue and having a hard time concentrating at the tasks on hand. Election Stress Syndrome was first coined by psychologist Steven Stosny after having an overwhelming amount of calls from his patients during the 2016 election cycle. This stress is compounded by the feelings of powerlessness over the ongoing violence against vulnerable communities, a deadly wildfire season and the anxiety of the current pandemic. Hypervigilance with following the news, problems with sleep, general crankiness and a disruption of daily routines are just a few of the symptoms affecting many of us and wearing people down (1). So how to cope?
Here are several suggestions to help you step away and create balance in your life during these trying times.
Step Away From the Media: Make a plan to limit your news reading to just a couple times a day. This will help alleviate the anxious scrolling that derails your routines and increases anxiety. You can stay informed without feeling overwhelmed.
Monitor and Lessen Your Social Media Interaction: As with news scrolling, social media these days tends to frustrate rather than support. Abstain from heated discussions with online trolls and don’t feel guilty about editing your feed or your friends online. Studies show that excessive social media usage can exacerbate anxiety and depression, especially in overwhelming times like these (2).
Fill the Well with Activity: Being physically active, even if it’s just a leisurely stroll around the block, can be grounding and helps clear the mind. Taking time to embrace the quiet or, alternatively, getting your groove on with some of your favorite uplifting music can also help restore balance.
Nourish Yourself: Whether it’s through making your favorite dish, sipping a hot cup of tea or talking with your favorite person, it’s important to make time to recharge and try to find moments of gratitude in the midst of this crazy year.
Cannabis can also be a good tool for relief. CBD can assist with stress, and there are many ratios to choose from. If you are looking for something non-euphoric, try experimenting with some of the higher ratios of CBD. Care By Design just introduced their 40:1 ratio tinctures and capsules, which can be soothing without getting high. If a bath is your go-to for unwinding, check out the infused Epsom salt baths from OM. We may not be able to get massages these days, but after an infused bath, you might feel like you just had one! To support a good night’s rest, try Kikoko’s “Little Helpers” Sleep mints, which are a soothing blend of THC, CBN and melatonin. If you’re in California, you can get any of these delivered to SF/the North Bay or the East Bay with just a few clicks. Or shop for pickup at our Castro, Marina, SoMa, or Berkeley locations.
Be gentle with yourself, take the time to nourish your body and remember to vote!