Coping with Socio-Political Stress

Let’s face it, the world is a complicated place — and every news story seems to add to the chaos. Maybe we can’t change the dynamics of the country, but we can change how we react. 

In light of recent national news cycles and an upcoming election, here are some proactive ways to cope with the stress and maintain your mental well-being.

  • Limit your news and social media intake. The 24-hour news cycle has the inevitable impact of overwhelming our brains. Limit your consumption of social media and other news media by temporarily blocking access through apps and websites like LeechBlock or SelfControl, or set a timer to limit the amount of time you spend scrolling. Try to balance out what you read with positive news sources like Positive News, which provides true and uplifting stories from around the world. 
  • Maintain your routine and engage in healthy activities. Basic acts of self-care make a big difference during stressful times, so find a balance between keeping up with current events and going about your daily life. Make time for exercise, meditation, breaks, connecting with friends and family, and other acts that feel nurturing to you. Even a simple 10 minute walk or cooking a meal can do the trick. 
  • Recognize your limits. Sometimes you just can’t tune out political and social uncertainty. And that’s okay. Instead, acknowledge that you may not be as efficient or productive as usual. Don’t beat yourself up. Ask for help or support when needed, you’re not the only one. 
  • Engage in healthy communication and seek community. Reach out to friends, family, your community, and check in with one another. Share your experiences and ideas with others to help strengthen your community values and shared identities. 
  • Acknowledge feelings. People react to things differently. Allow yourself to feel what you feel. Try not to judge yourself or others for having different responses to the same events.
  • Stay informed. While it may seem contradictory to the point above, when you do seek out information, make sure to stick to news sources your trust. Be wary of opinion pieces that exacerbate stress.

Like most things in life, find what works for you. Maybe you have tried some of these strategies before. Some work. Some may not. Consider each of these a tool to use when the time is right. 

 

*If you or someone you love is struggling with mental health, request an appointment with one of our professional mental health providers at Diversus Health today. If you need immediate assistance, call our crisis hotline at 844-493-8255, or text ‘TALK’ to 38255.

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