We did it, y’all. We made it through Election Day 2020. At long last, we’re at November 4… a day for a while I wasn’t sure would ever come.
For the last year and a half, this election cycle has occupied so much of our collective space. We’ve endured sloppy debates and candidate stump speeches, while also balancing our personal health and safety in a global pandemic, a national reckoning with systemic racism, raging wildfires — both on land and throughout this current administration — and so much more.
To say we’re exhausted doesn’t even begin to describe it. But, starting today, it’s time to look ahead to the future and away from the political trauma we’ve endured this year. We know you’re stressed (so are we — in a major way) so we thought we’d give you something light to take your mind off of the election cycle, at least for a little while. The final results are going to take a while so take a deep breath, take a break, and maybe do one of these five things instead.
1. Sleep? SLEEP!
When I ask my friends what they are most looking forward to after the election, I keep getting the same response: sleep and lots of it. That’s probably my number one, too.
To say we’ve earned a long, restful slumber is an understatement. With a cycle as “on” as this past one, most of us have experienced changes in our sleeping patterns. We’re getting more but it’s not really restful or we’re getting less and are becoming a blob of exhausted nerves.
This pandemic hasn’t helped with things either. According to a Kaiser Family Foundation study, roughly 36% of Americans reported difficulty sleeping this summer due to stress about the pandemic. Combine that with a wild final act of election and we’re just all bone-tired.
If you’re making a list of things to look forward to, put sleep at number one and get some zzzz.
2. Welcome back, free time
If you’re like me, you’ve been a ball of political anxiety who’s spent much of this year trying to channel that into action. You’ve volunteered for campaigns, researched the candidates and initiatives on your ballots, made donations, and spent hours refreshing every electoral map you could click. Well, it’s time to move on … and I say that to you as I am saying to myself.
The time and energy you poured into this election is yours once again. (At least until midterms.) Remember free time? That funny little thing where we have complete control to as much or as little as want? Today is the perfect day to start rediscovering it: read a book, binge your favorite TV show, practice the choreo for “WAP” for the umpteenth time, whatever! Just do something for you.
Without the looming clouds of an election over your head, reclaim your time and rest now while you can. Because there’s still so much to do.
3. A bellowing, full-throated scream into the abyss
Yes, I am serious — and I am not alone. As known philosopher Britney Spears once said, “scream and shout and let it all out.” Has she ever steered you wrong before? No, she hasn’t.
My preferred method is into a pillow, but I’ve also had success in a dark, empty closet and underwater in my bathtub. Get that scream out however you want; just give your housemate(s) a heads-up so they don’t, well, assume the worst.
Luxuriate in a sonic release of your own now. And thank me later!
4. Less stress, more sex!
Speaking of releases, now feels like the perfect time to pivot away from those “You in? 🗳️” volunteer texts to flirty “You up? 😈” sexts.
Whether this election stress killed your libido or intensely heightened it without the proper outlet for your urges, it’s time to take your sex life off the back burner and give it the attention it deserves.
Unleash your inner horn dog (safely, we’re still in a pandemic), have a downstairs date with yourself, and get down to business … whatever business you’re into. You’ve earned it!
5. Something new to talk about with your therapist
I’m sure they are as sick of hearing about your election nightmares as much as you are of having them. It’s time to move on. You did what you could and you should be proud. What’s done is done and it’s time to let go of things out of your control.
That doesn’t mean you should stop caring. It’s the opposite: Letting things go doesn’t mean throwing them out of your life, necessarily. Moreso, it speaks to moving forward and taking on new challenges that are squarely in your court to control.
Plus, your therapist needs something new to chew on. Maybe it’s time to unpack that childhood trauma or that extremely rare phobia? Your call.
Before we go, I want to remind you of something: this list isn’t meant to be exhaustive. Instead, I hope it’s a jumping-off point that will spark conversation and collective healing after one of our most intense years in modern history.
I hope it helps you in some small way and would love to hear from you. Share what you’re looking forward to next on Twitter and Instagram by tagging @dcbeings.