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The Election Is Stressful but My Self Care Plan Is Not

I have the power of good food and anime on my side

Sailor Moon eats cake

It’s been prophesized that tomorrow is gonna be … a thing. 

In all my years of participating in Election Day, this might be the heaviest one I’ve experienced. Anxiety is the name of the game for many of us—all that’s missing is the required rolling thunder clouds to punctuate the sense of dread. However, I must follow all the right people on social media, because my TL is full of folks encouraging self-care and sharing what their plans are to get through the day. 

Tension? I don’t know her. OK, I do know her, but I’m at least working on how to alleviate her. Here’s my self-care plan—and it might just work for you, too:

Get Your Favorite Foods Together

Full disclosure: my wife and I have this whiteboard in our kitchen with a goal to not eat out as much, no matter how many “visit your local restaurant they need your business” ads we see. There’re exceptions to this, of course, like if one of us has good news or if, you know, it’s Tuesday, November 3rd, in our hellfire year 2020. We have menus to our favorite delivery places at the ready, several car side options, and we’re ready to eat whichever dessert offers the most comfort (cheesecake, it’s cheesecake)

Enjoy Media That Makes You Feel Good

I highly recommend partaking in forms of media that have nothing to do with politics. This includes the polling results themselves. Yes, it’s important to stay informed, but trust me, you don’t need to leave your TV on CNN all day. So that queue you have that’s overflowing with shows you haven’t watched yet? Watch them. Cuz girls be adding to their queue and leaving series unfinished.

It’s me.

I’m girls.

I’m girls with episodes of Jujutsu Kaisen waiting to be watched, I still haven’t watched Burn The Witch, and the My Hero Academia: Heroes Rising Blu-Ray has been sitting, unwatched, for almost a week! But you know what? It’s perfectly acceptable to rewatch an old fave, too. Sure, I can perfectly recite the entirety of the 90s Mortal Kombat movie, but that’s a skill that brings me great joy. 

Embrace The Power Of Your Butthead Cats (Or Animal Of Choice)

There has never been a better time to snuggle a fur baby. I’m lucky enough to have three of them. Normally, they’re a disaster. The smallest one likes to pick fights like she has something to prove while the oldest feels the need to yodel at me to snitch on the other cat. Meanwhile, the lone male cat drapes himself over everything, like a rich widow who has no idea who killed their husband. I hatefully adore them, and tomorrow I’m prepared to pet them to the point of annoyance. For those of you who don’t have a pet, I recommend animal videos, because somewhere out there a gay penguin is causing mischief

Tailor Your Social Media To Leave Room For Joy

Much like “don’t watch the polls all day,” you should absolutely avoid doom scrolling through political social media all day. Mute words if you have to … assuming that you can. Not everyone’s able to walk away from social media as it’s an intrinsic part of their job, so may I suggest carving out a space that brings you joy? For me, that space is reserved for the various fandoms I’m a part of, so I take time out to scroll through those feeds and smile over my favorite characters, discussions, and ships. Of course, the simple solution is to abandon social media altogether, but it’s possible to create positive spaces if you have to stay online. Visit those spaces. Interact with them. Hell, make a silly post yourself. It’s still your social media space to do as you see fit—election be damned.

Don’t Spare A Thought On (Insert Person No Longer In Your Life Because Of Opposing Beliefs)

If you’re like me you find yourself dealing with wayward thoughts about the folks you no longer talk to because you absolutely can’t “agree to disagree” when it comes to basic human rights. Yeah, that husband and wife with the dueling yard signs? Couldn’t be me. Still, sometimes I’ll wonder about the ones I cut ties with, the ones who claimed to love me “no matter what,” as they tried to explain why they voted for the man who ruined red caps for all eternity. 

Don’t do this to yourself. It doesn’t matter. Not even a little bit.

Because what ends up happening is I end up reopening old wounds, remembering how my feelings as a marginalized woman were boiled down to “just politics,” and how I was expected to sit and pass the mashed potatoes during Holiday Season 2016. I know there’s been a rise of folks who have seen the error of their ways. Maybe the ones I deleted out of my life have, too. But I’m not in a place where I can give kudos. I’m still mad at the 53%, still feeling a bitter “I told you so” every time Trump essentially says “hold my beer” when he outdoes his bad behavior. 

So yeah … don’t think about them. Because for me, they’ve either changed and I’m still salty, or they haven’t and I’m still right to have walked away from them.

This is a plan that’s a work in progress, and one that I’ll be enacting throughout the entire week (since I anticipate election anxiety moving beyond Tuesday). I’m very curious about what others are doing to take care of themselves this week (but don’t give me more anime to watch … ok, you can give me one), so let us know in the comments!

(image: Toei Animation)

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