Post-Election Depression – How to Bounce Back
Expect to Grieve
This election season has been exciting and stressful. We have had drama, distraction, and most of all, disappointment. Grieving is normal when you have been emotionally invested. Remember in the past how you responded during times of transition and let down. This is a natural phase that you will survive.
Look at Paths Leading Forward
There is no turning backward, only moving forward. So much focus has been on this election, it’s time to re-focus on what we CAN control and what matters to us now, whether it is improving our work, relationships or self-care. When you find yourself ruminating or getting stuck in anger, take one or two steps in positive directions forward in the following areas regardless of how you feel. In these situations, the feelings of motivation will come after you get started.
Be Gentle to Yourself and Others
You did the best you could. Imagine what more Facebook posts would have done to your reputation? Any more would likely have been overkill for many, given how passionate people were during this election. Also remember that your friends, family, or colleagues that are gloating THEIR victories on social media are well-intended. Those with opposing candidates truly believe their candidate is what is needed to reunite the country. It is not personal to you.
Enter the Holiday Season by Being Social
Some of your election-depression may be due to having lost the camaraderie due to discussing the election and now stewing on the results. Make sure to plan social time with your friends to boost that need for connection. Make sure you do not complain too much about the results; that would be a social bummer. Focus on positives and making fun future plans to look forward to for the holidays. Engage in light level discussion.
Inaugurate Healthy Choices
Stay healthy regardless of how you feel. Keep exercising no matter what you do. Just because you are depressed over the election results doesn’t mean you “deserve” to drink, smoke or eat whatever you want. How do hurtful results justify hurting yourself?
You CAN get through this. You have done it in many ways before. In life so much is out of our control. It is how we deal with this fact that determines not only our personal health over the next four years, but for the next four years of the country as well.