3 Ways to Cope with Election Stress
While we wait for the 2020 Presidential election results, we can all do these three things.
I don't know about you, but I hoped I'd never have to think about Nevada this much.
As the state known for Las Vegas and nothing else takes their sweet time counting up the votes, while the future of American Democracy hangs in uncertain balance for the third day, it's excusable if your coping mechanisms have gotten a little unorthodox.
For example, I ordered a stuffed crust pizza at 11:01 AM this morning (the restaurant opened at 11). A friend of mine has started compulsively coloring adult coloring books, while another friend has been taking multiple bubble baths a day to handle the stress.
Meanwhile, Donald Trump is coping with the uncertainty by throwing an enormous tantrum on the Internet and trying to invalidate the mechanisms of functioning American democracy. We all have our little things.
We wait to see if we'll spend another four years under an unprecedentedly erratic leader with a tendency to cozy up to dictators, pay off p*rn stars, indebt America even further to foreign powers, and generally embarrass our country in front of the rest of the world; or, a nice old man named Joe. Here are some coping mechanisms you can utilize to combat your growing anxiety.
Go for a walk
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Put on your shoes. Go out your front door. Walk down the street. Take deep breaths and enjoy the sounds and smells of the neighborhood. Smile (under your mask, of course) at passing neighbors. Remember that life is a fleeting memory and death is simply forgetting.
Keep walking. Walk further.
Pass everything and everyone you ever knew. Don't look back; there's nothing for you there. Enter the forest. Let the trees engulf you.
You're one of them now. Shed your clothes. Cover yourself in dirt and moss. Burrow into the soft, forgiving earth. The mud has never heard of the electoral college. This is your home now, or has always been your home, perhaps.
Live as the animals do. Forget that you ever knew language at all; there is no CNN here. What is an elector to a bird but a distraction from endless sky?
Life is now simply sensation and instinct. You never had a name. You simply are, were, and will always be. In your forgetting you have become infinite. Let out a howl. Beasts don't need healthcare.
Know that no one will hear you. Civic duty is dead. Fade into nothing and, all at once, everything.
Do something you enjoy to distract yourself
It's important that you don't spend all day scrolling through Twitter or watching CNN; it will only stress you out more. As you wait for the results to roll in, distract yourself with pleasant pastimes like baking or watching a movie.
Maybe even try a new hobby you've been wanting to learn! It's easy enough to run to the art store and grab some paints or to head upstairs to your attic with some crystals and a ouija board and try to contact the spirits you've always sensed in your home but never confronted, whether they be benevolent or ill intentioned and murderous.
Once you feel an icy chill set into your bones—up there in the damp and dusty dark where silent mouths speak and unseeing eyes watch—you'll know they're with you. Plead with them, ask them for clarity, ask them what the hell is going on in Nevada and when we will know.
Address them respectfully. Offer them treasures of the flesh and spirit in exchange for clarity about whether your rights will soon be taken away by the Supreme Court. Feel the whisper of their vaporous touch on your skin. Allow them to speak through you, to wail and lament. Recognize that the continuation or the eradication of the filibuster is insignificant when compared to the plight of a murdered virgin marooned in the spirit world.
Take a pirate ghost lover who died at the hands of his crew, only to be doomed to wander the earth in search of vengeance forever more. He knows nothing of Biden or Trump, only the laws of the sea, that unforgiving mistress. Set him free with a gentle kiss.
Afterwards, it's likely that AP will have finally called Pennsylvania.
Call a friend
Go through your contact list, choose a friend you haven't spoken to in a while, and give them a call. Ask how they're doing, discuss the election in casual terms as if it's not gnawing away at your very essence, and pretend for a moment that this is merely a political drama with no real life consequences.
Lean into the bit. Start to say ominous things like "I know what you did, and soon the American people will too," as if you're Kerry Washington on Scandal. Don't let them know that you have fully severed your ties to reality and are now pretending you're in some kind of fever dream version of The West Wing.
Shout that you need that Edison Research report ASAP or heads will roll. Demand that the Secretary of State return your phone call about the Rose Garden event.
You're the president now. Put them on speaker as you change into a navy blue suit with a small flag pin.
Go into elaborate detail about how you plan to redecorate the Oval Office. Recite the nuclear launch codes in an operatic falsetto; you ARE the commander and chief.
Don't stop when they hang up (the FBI is always listening, anyway). Threaten to paint the White House lawn fuchsia and brag about your last 1 on 1 pickup basketball game with Obama. America is yours, and congress is in session, b*tch.
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