To say that election season has been a beat down is an understatement. The political bender we have all been on has left us dizzy, queasy, and disoriented. Regardless of where you fall on the political spectrum I have advice on how to move forward and cure an election hangover in 3 easy steps.
Step One: Take control of your own social media and set the tone towards positive.
You have the power to quiet negative posts on your social media feeds. By now you might be aware of the three little dots you see in the upper right corner of a Facebook post. Those dots offer options to hide posts that bring you down. Facebook and other social media platforms want to keep you on their platform so once the algorithm recognizes what you want, it will give you more of that thing to keep you engaged.
Flood your social media news feed with positivity. Share every cute cat, dog, and baby video you see. Hard hearts are melted at the sound of a baby laughing so share as many adorable laughing baby videos as you can.
Don’t share any information that seems even remotely questionable. Fact check before sharing articles to make sure what you are reading is, indeed, factual. Remember how our parents told us when we were kids that you couldn’t believe everything we saw on TV? Same applies here but with even more caution and prudence. If you don’t have time to fact check something then move on.
Resist the urge to engage in any sort of political debate on social media. It’s over, the results are in and no amount of posts and/or memes will change anyone’s mind about their candidate of choice. Nuance is lost in the comment box so stay out of it.
Step Two: Volunteer
You know how many people benefit from hand wringing and dower attitudes? Zero. Become the hands and feet of Christ by making your community a better place to live.
There are organizations in your community that need your help. Meals on Wheels is a great place to make a difference in someone’s day right away. Check with your local food shelter or food bank to see what type of food donations they need and then recruit your family and neighbors to help. Call your child’s teacher and ask how you can help in the classroom or office. The simple act of making copies or laminating items for teachers is a blessing beyond belief to their busy schedules.
However you decide to volunteer, wear a mask.
Step three: Get outside
The beauty of God’s creation is right outside your door. A few weekends ago I took my teen and tween on a Saturday afternoon tour of the city parks we used to visit when they were little. It was simply an attempt to get them away from the Xbox but it ended up being a wonderful walk down memory lane. We all played on the playground equipment and laughed about how much smaller it all seems now. For an afternoon they let down their adolescent guard and were just kids again, swinging on a swing.
The pandemic has made us rethink what type of activities we can participate in and where we spend our time outside of the house. Our family discovered that state parks are a wonderful (and free) alternative to indoor activities. Now that we are all wound up so tight from election stress, visiting state parks checks off both those boxes of being in a Covid-safe environment and letting nature work it’s magic on your weary soul.
We may be suffering from an election hangover but we don’t have to let the fallout and unhealthy attitudes of others define us.