I know it’s not just me when I say I feel like everyone around me has been on edge this last few months. Let’s be honest: the 2016 election did a lot to rile people up. No matter who you voted for, the events leading up to that moment ignited plenty of fears and concern about the future of our country. And even if you feel fairly insulated amongst a group of like-minded friends, chances are you have co-workers or family members who regularly voice opinions polar opposite to your own.
Which may have made for a less than merry Thanksgiving celebration.
I know a lot of people, myself included, have felt the stress of it all. And while I would never argue that people should stop fighting for what they believe in, or that anyone should give up on advocating for their rights and the rights of others, I will say this… we all need to take a breath. Not because there isn’t reason to be concerned, or because massive disagreements with family members aren’t rightfully stressful (especially if you have big wedding plans in the works), but because… our sanity is worth prioritizing.
Hopefully you’ve made it through the first major family holiday without any major blowups. With any luck, you managed that without having to hoard an entire bottle of wine to yourself. Considering Thanksgiving is likely the time you’re surrounded by the people in your life who tend to be most outspoken in their opinions which are contrary to your own, it should just get easier from here. Hopefully the awkwardness and discomfort, at least when it comes to family get-togethers, has reached it’s peak.
But you still have your personal stress to deal with.
Tensions have been high. We’ve all been left a bit rattled. But if you’re still feeling as beaten down by this election season as you were a month ago, it’s time to focus on some self-care.
Here’s where you need to start:
• Take a Social Media Break: Trust me, the constant updates (particularly now that recounts are in the works) aren’t good for anyone. And since social media is where people tend to be most vocal, you’re sure to come across even more views that differ from your own. Seeing those will only prompt you to want to respond, which really can’t go anywhere good at this point. So step away. Log out. Take a few days (or a few weeks) to decompress. You deserve it.
• Do Something You Love: Whether it’s surfing or horseback riding, running or reading, carve some time out in the next few weeks just for you.
• Find the Holiday Spirit: This is supposed to be one of the happiest times of year, so embrace that. Spend time with the people you love, decorate, do some shopping for the kids in your life, or for yourself! Just find some joy and latch onto it.
• Commit Some Random Acts of Kindness: There is nothing better for lifting a person’s spirits than doing something kind for someone else. There is so much need in this world today, keep your eye out and spread a little love when the opportunity presents itself. Trust me, you’ll feel better for it.
• Take Care of You: Prioritize sleep, exercise, and healthy eating right now. Because a healthy body is one that is better equipped to handle the stress of the outside world.
Over the next month, I’m going to be writing more about how to wrap the year up on a happy, healthy, stable note. Because most of us really do have so much to be thankful for, and moving into a new year should be about counting those blessings and looking forward to the future.