If you haven’t been caught up in the whirlwind of the post-election stress, you’re lucky. For most people, it’s been a few days of increased tension, high emotions, online fights, loss of friends, constant conversations with everyone you encounter, shock and sadness from reading too many Facebook reports and news analysis.
And too much stress isn’t good for anyone. It causes headaches and migraines, clenched jaws, lack of sleep, shoulder tension, back pain, high blood pressure – this election can have a terrible physical effect on your as well. But there are some ways to step back and reduce the stress it’s causing.
Breathe. We’ve devoted a whole blog post before to the art of breathing properly. Take deep, meaningful breaths that help draw oxygen through your blood and circulate through your whole body.
Turn off the TV and social media. You won’t miss anything other than more ways to become frustrated and angry. Removing yourself from exposure for a few days – or a week – may be the healthiest way to go.
Exercise. Work up a sweat to something else – your own body exercising and boosting your circulation and immune system. Listen to upbeat music as you go along, which can increase endorphins and put you in a better mood. Alternatively, get together with friends, agree not to talk about the election, and have fun playing your favorite game. It will get you moving and enjoying yourself.
Get out in nature. Go for a walk or hike through the woods, admire the foliage, enjoy the fall air and forget about what’s going on. Listen to the great outdoors and not the hate spewing from the television or the public.
Meditate. Close your eyes, center your thoughts, and focus on how you and your body feels at that moment. It only takes ten minutes a day to release tension and find calmness. Use an app such as Headspace or Buddhify to guide you and keep your gently on track through the meditation.
If all else fails, book yourself a massage to have someone remove the tension from your muscles. Point Performance offers medical massages; call to have one scheduled or to visit with one of our physical therapists who can help develop a series of exercises to help reduce stress.