Our democracy running effectively is contingent on everyone – you included. Your voice matters and so does your vote. So we hope you exercised your right to vote to the fullest extent. But now Election Day has passed and you might be left feeling plenty of emotions and thoughts about the outcomes.
For many voters, being consumed by post-election coverage on all different fronts will be all that they desire. And while there’s nothing wrong with staying up-to-date with the comings and goings of the world, it can get messy and overwhelming really quick. Remember, your vote matters, but so do you. So, here are eight ways to relax, recharge, and rejuvenate now that election day is over.
1. Take a Social Media Break
This may go without saying, but we’re going to say it. Take a break from social media. We’ll say it again for the folks who didn’t hear us in the back. Put your phone down, close your laptop, leave your tablet on your desk, and step away from your Twitter/TikTok/Instagram/Facebook/BeReal. Studies show that short breaks away from social media can alleviate feelings of loneliness, anxiety, and depression. This is your sign to go enjoy life outside of your social media simulation.
2. Get Your Body Moving With Some Exercise
Whether you’re breathing deep into that yoga stretch or taking a stroll leisurely throughout a park, exercise can be a great opportunity to get away from political coverage and put your physical and mental health first. We’re not telling you to join Crossfit. But finding some time to connect with your body, even for 15 minutes can be a game changer. Aesthetics aside, working out improves confidence, reduces stress, and distracts you from negative thoughts and emotions. Check out some of these fitness apps to see what fits you best.
3. Text, Call, or Video Chat with a Loved One
Our extroverted readers will enjoy this one. Feeling chatty? Call up a friend you haven’t spoken to in a while, FaceTime Grandma, or send a voice note to bae – I’m sure they’d appreciate it. We’re human and many of us crave connection. A study from the University of Houston highlighted that the pandemic’s effects on mental health are pretty much long lasting. But talking with folks from your community can be healing. Also, processing the election with someone might be therapeutic. But for those where it’s not, maybe save the politics for later and talk about that TikTok video you saw today… you know the one.
4. Make Time to Journal
So you don’t have to create a “Burn Book” a la Regina George from Mean Girls, but if you want to get out all of your thoughts, consider getting a journal. Studies have shown that journaling reduces stress and anxiety, while also improving self-esteem and mental health. While you can check out this collection of journals to choose from, you can also take your journaling into the digital age with one of these apps as well.
5. Treat Yourself to an At-Home Spa Day
Perhaps luxurious (or budget friendly) pampering is all that you need. If that’s the case, then it’s time to whip out that face mask and jade eye roller. You needed a reason to use it. Now you do. Whether you’re sipping on wine in a bathtub or at home “robed up” and applying your favorite nail polish color, this should be treated as a major “treat yourself” moment. So elevate that moment with some of these at home spa day tips.
6. Watch Your Favorite TV Show or Movie
There are plenty of great shows and films to watch. If you’re busy juggling different streaming services, like we are, then you’ll have a treasure trove to choose from. Grab your Negroni sbagliato and start watching House of the Dragon or make some popcorn and turn on a feel good film to get your mind off of politics. Whatever genre you’re into, take the time to lean into some silver screen or streaming escapism.
7. Read a Book or Magazine
TV and films aren’t your thing? Then pick up the next great American novel or check out that new manga you’ve been waiting to dive into. Whether you’re using an e-reader or sticking to good old fashioned paper, reading provides multiple benefits. From mental stimulation to knowledge enhancement to stress reduction, reading can get you out of your head and into a riveting story. Still can’t figure out what to read? Well, why not turn to your favorite LGBTQ-focused publication. I think it’s called INTO.
8. Volunteer at an Organization that Aligns with Your Values
Feel the need to continue making a difference? Then go out and volunteer. The election is over, but now the real work begins. You can spend time at your local LGBTQ center or volunteer for a grassroots organization near and dear to your heart. Volunteering can be as hands-on as you make it, but in case you’re interested, here are some LGBTQ-focused organizations who could use your help.