Election Day is here. If you’ve voted, you’ve done your part. Now comes the self care because if you’re like me it’s going to be a L-O-N-G day. (And as with all wonderful United States elections, it’s not over until the Electorial College officially casts the ballots). So, how to you take care of yourself in the meantime? I’ve pulled together some election day self care tips and put them below.
- BREATHE: During the day make sure to take the time to breathe and breathe deep. When we’re stressed or anxious, we subconsciously hold our breathe or take shallower breaths, and that triggers our body to stay on a tighter response than normal. After this election season, it’s no wonder we’re like violin bow strings snapping no matter how much rosin it placed on us. Take a few minutes in a corner, in a car, in a bathroom, somewhere where there’s a modicum of privacy and take cleansing breaths.
- TAKE YOUR BREAKS: Today of all days, make sure to take your breaks. If you get scheduled breaks, take them. If you get a lunch/dinner break, whether paid or not, take it. Make sure you eat something today, and stay hydrated.
- STAY TUNED: If you have the nerves (and the stomach for it) then by all means when you get home turn on the TV (or streaming media or radio) to your favorite election coverage station and wait for each and every election update. In Orange County, Florida our polls close at 7 p.m. Eastern time (not counting how long they’ll remain open for people still in line at 7). Stagger that around the country, with a good estimate of at least an hour for results to come in after the polls close and you can figure on being up until at least 11 pm Eastern if not longer. Better than going alone, have a viewing potluck party with friends or a sleepover.
- READATHON: Turn everything off (save your social media alerts for updates as you know you’d be tempted to check otherwise) and bury yourself in books. New books, old familiar favorites, doesn’t matter as long as you can get lost in THOSE worlds and forget this world for a while. Stock up on your favorite foods and snacks on your way home from work and snuggle into your most comfortable pjs and start on your stack. And want to read for a good cause? Sign up for MoFemmeBer and read zines to raise money for QZAP!
- BINGEATHON: Run by the library or hit up that friend that you know you have for a stack of DVDs or Blurays that will get you through the evening. Or queue up that new series you’ve been wanting to start but never have on Netflix or Hulu and burrow onto the couch or in bed with clicker and favorite drink by your side, and get lost in the screen without political ads.
- WATER THERAPY: Work out the kinks you’ve forgotten you have in your muscles with a good, long shower or soak. If you have the capacity (not everyone does), go find your water heater and see what the max temp is set at, and if you can handle hotter water in your shower or bath then raise it up a few degrees for a good half hour before you start up your shower and let everyone in the household know what’s going on. Then after you’re done, lower it back down. It may seem nuts but those few degrees of temperature make a world of difference to your muscles, and taking the time in the shower or bath for yourself to just breathe can lower your stress levels.
- EXERCISE: If you are able, and if you have a safe space (I realize not everyone can and not everyone does, especially today) try and exercise. Getting pent up energy out is helpful and supposedly getting exercise in can help you fell better and rest better.
Take care of yourself today, and no matter what happens, pick yourself up and keep going tomorrow as well.