Practicing Self-Care During Elections Season

While we make mental health a priority at the ballot box, we also need to make mental health a priority for ourselves. Election season can be stressful: the constant news updates and push notifications, difficult conversations with friends and family members, negative ads featured anywhere you are and everywhere you go. That’s why it’s so important to find ways that work for you to practice self-care and navigate the election-related stress this year.

Get elections news and updates from nonpartisan sources.
Media outlets with partisan views tend to have more sensationalized coverage, overemphasizing the bad things another candidate may or may not do. Follow trusted news sources like the Associated Press or NPR, where the news will be reported in a balanced and factual way.
Silence breaking news notifications or delete news apps.
While it’s important to stay informed, consider turning off push notifications for breaking news. Instead, consider intentionally visiting a news website or subscribe to daily newsletters. But also allow yourself to take a break from the news when you need.
Take breaks from screens.
Avoid “doomscrolling” — scrolling through social media and news feeds, where there’s always something new and negative to be found. Consider limiting your time on social media platforms or in news apps, or keeping your phone in a different room while you sleep.
Spend your time doing things for you.
Do things that make you feel connected to your values like volunteering your time or visiting your place of worship, or activities that help you feel a sense of flow, like learning a new skill, creating art, exercising, making music, or solving puzzles.
Acknowledge your negative feelings.
Recognize what specifically is causing your heightened stress or emotions and find what you need to feel better.
Show yourself compassion.
You are not alone in feeling stressed or overwhelmed ahead of the elections. If you feel comfortable, talk with friends, family or professionals for support. Be kind to yourself.

In Need Of Help Or Support?

You are not alone! If you are struggling with your mental health, the NAMI HelpLine is here for you. Connect with a NAMI HelpLine volunteer today. Call 1-800-950-NAMI (6264), text “HelpLine” to 62640 or email us at [email protected]. Available Monday through Friday, 10 A.M. – 10 P.M. ET.

Additionally, the NAMI Teen & Young Adult (T&YA) HelpLine offers a direct connection with another young person who shares similar experiences and is prepared to offer information, resources, and support to help you move through difficult times to a better place. Call 1-800-950-6264, chat, text “Friend” to 62640, or email [email protected] to connect with us.

The NAMI HelpLine is not a hotline, crisis line or suicide prevention line. If you or someone you know is experiencing a crisis, please contact 988.