I posted on Facebook earlier today how this election season has been causing me great anxiety, especially these last few days leading up to Election Day. Dozens of friends responded with their own fears and symptoms of anxiety, ranging from insomnia to OCD to IBS. If you are experiencing something similar, which is a real condition, then here are a few tips to manage your feelings of fright and despair:
1) Volunteer. Nothing else you do will help you feel more in control than being an active participant in the election process. Make calls, knock on doors, arrange to drive the elderly or disabled to polling stations on Election Day. There's so much you can do, even from a county or state that is solidly not turning another color anytime soon.
2) Donate. Personally, I think there should be caps on election spending and that PACs should be abolished, but this is not our current political reality, so if you can't volunteer, then give what you can.
3) Preach. Everyone has their opinion when it comes to using social media as a political soapbox, but then we'd never hear what people actually thought if they didn't share it on Facebook or Twitter, etc. I'd have no idea what many of my friends were pondering or now feeling over the election - impending doom, for example.
4) Shame. Amy Schumer recently launched a delightful little PSA of sorts that reminds everyone that whether you vote or not becomes public record. So don't feel reluctant to passive-aggressively shame or guilt the people in your life to vote, because everyone will know if they didn't.
5) Limit. A few bombshells notwithstanding, such as the alleged bug planted at the DNC Headquarters in Washington DC, don't let the news fuel your anxiety anymore. Turn off the cable news stations and desist from obsessively checking FiveThirtyEight.com. It won't do you any good to hear what yet another fringe freak thinks or, worse, why an undecided still can't seem to make up his, err, mind.
6) Exercise. Not just your right to vote, but when it comes to your body as well. Go out for a nice walk or jog. Find a river or lake to run by. Contemplate and embrace your futility while breaking a nice sweat. It will take your mind and your heart off of things, if but for an hour or two.
7) Meditate. You don't need to be the Dali Lama to know how to sit with yourself and practice mindfulness simply by allowing your thoughts to come and go while focusing on your breathing. Rock gardens are not required. Neither are kale smoothies nor LuLuLemons.
8) Masturbate. You think I'm joking, but I'm not. When was the last time you masturbated more than once in a day? More than twice in a day? More than three times? Consider this weekend your weekend to go for a record worthy of a sixteen-year-old's libido. Sexually gratify and exhaust yourself into oblivion.
9) Medicate. Unless you're an addict, there's nothing wrong with a little overindulgence now and again. Have a bottle of wine. Have three! Sure, you may suffer from a wicked hangover the next day, but at least that, too, might get your mind off of things. However, just know that a hangover is no excuse not to volunteer. Ain't nobody got time for that.
10) Pray. Just kidding. F*ck!! Have lots and lots of sex. Romantic sex. Dirty sex. Positively filthy sex. Have sex like it's the end of the world. Because it just might be.