Celebrate (or mourn) with likeminded people. So, we have a new President-elect — that’s either a welcome relief or a nightmare realized, depending on who you voted for. It’s best to process your immediate emotions about the election with people who share your views, said Tania Israel, a professor in the Department of Counseling, Clinical, and School Psychology at the University of California, Santa Barbara. Being with like-minded people will help you validate your feelings, no matter how you feel.
Address your stress
Find your flow. If you’re struggling to cope with uncertainty, try to enter a state of “flow,” what Sweeny describes as “being in the zone.” You can enter a flow state by doing something that fully engages you and helps you lose track of time, be it your work, a hobby or time with loved ones. Anyone can do it, Sweeny said — just find something that challenges you the right amount and keeps you occupied.
Turn stress into a superpower. Believe it or not, your anxiety can be useful if you find the right place for it, Sweeny said. Stress can empower us to act and find solutions to problems that plague us, whether that’s related to the election or not. “I think it’s helpful … if you’re particularly anxious about some particular outcome, to think of ways to ensure a better outcome,” she said.
Avoid social media squabbles
Take it offline. If someone posts a cruel comment on one of your social media posts about the election, ask them to talk about it over the phone or in person, Israel suggests. The “only useful comment” you can make on someone’s Facebook post is to invite them to a conversation offline, she said.
Approach political divisions with empathy
Be open to dialogue: Ask your loved ones who hold different political views why they feel the way they do, suggested Israel, whose research focuses on how to bridge partisan divides. An open conversation gives you an opportunity to understand that person better. Listen to reflect rather than to retort, she said, and the other person should offer you the same respect when it’s time to share your opinion.