No matter which candidate you supported, the past few days have been a doozy. Here's how to prioritize self-care, destress, and get back to business after a historically insane election
Regardless of which candidate you voted for or what you hoped the outcome of the election would be, the past few days have undoubtedly been tense for all of America. As the dust begins to settle, self-care is more important than ever, especially if you're feeling disappointed or stressed about the results. So here are four strategies to pick yourself up, get back to work, and feel better ASAP.
Laugh a Little
Turns out, the old adage that laughter is the best medicine might be somewhat true after all. Laughing actually triggers the release of endorphins, which are the same hormones responsible for making you feel like you're on Cloud 9 after a particularly great workout. "One of the many things that endorphins do is bring about a state of well-being, comfort, or even a euphoria," says Earlexia Norwood, M.D., a family medicine physician at Henry Ford Health System in Detroit. "At the same time, laughter decreases stress hormones like cortisol." So, cue up the Netflix comedies, put your dog in a silly outfit, or hang out with your friends. (Here, read more on the health benefits of laughter.)
Eat Something Healthy
It can be tempting to wallow in the bottom of a pizza box or ice cream carton when you're feeling down, stressed, or anxious, but Norwood says that eating something healthy will actually make you feel better. "Constantly eating foods high in sugar and salt will slow you down," she says. Of course, you're free to splurge on your favorite junk food whenever you want, but know that the more regularly you eat nutrient-dense food, the better you'll feel. Even the process of preparing a healthful meal for yourself can be therapeutic because you're putting time and care into something that really matters—your body.
Take an Internet Break
If you've been tirelessly following the news and scrolling through your Facebook news feed reading your friends' thoughts on the election, now may be a good time to take a break. Even if you decide to take just 12 hours off from news websites and social media, it could make a big difference. It's well-documented that the news can cause some serious stress. It's not that the election's results aren't important, just that you shouldn't have to sacrifice your mental health to stay updated.
Maybe the election craziness made you skip your sweat sessions for the past few days. If this is the case, take an hour for yourself and go to a yoga class, head out for a jog, or hit up your favorite boot camp class. Research has shown that even going for a walk can help you feel better when your emotions are out of whack. And if you don't want to leave the house, check out these 7 chill yoga poses to ease anxiety.