November 3, 2020, came and went. Many Americans are waking up to the U.S. President Donald Trump prematurely declaring victory against Democratic nominee Joe Biden. You don’t have to be living in the United States to know the implications that declaration carries. Spanish-based techno artist Coyu certainly does when he tweeted “American Civil War 2?” Yesterday was indeed one of the most important days in American election history, and it even got electronic music artists talking. So if today you’re in need of a little self-care, here are some ways to destress post-election.
People will need plenty of ways to destress post-election, so pick one or do all but don’t forget self-care. You only have one body and mind, so treat them well.
American Civil War 2? What Trump just said is utterly insane
— Coyu (@coyumusic) November 4, 2020
This one is a no brainer. There are studies linking music’s effects on mental health. 6AM’s Global Vibe Radio has more than 230 tracks and Guest Mixes feature 150 artists from around the world. That’s a whole lot of medicine. Pick everything from deep, raw industrial vibes to lighter melodic techno and everything in between.
When the world seems to be too much, looking at you 2020, spend some time outdoors. The decades-old Japanese practice of forest bathing or shinrin-yoku (meaning “taking in the forest”) is believed to provide stress reduction, relaxation and deeper insights into life. As reported in a Forbes article, a study in Scientific Reports found that spending a minimum of two hours a week in nature (such as parks, woodlands, or beaches) promotes physical and mental health and well-being and gives you a bigger perspective of your life circumstances.
Meditation can be intimidating but it’s easier than you think. This can be done in small doses throughout the day. If you’re new to mediation try a five-minute guided meditation. There are plenty of apps Calm, Headspace, Shine, or even try finding some on YouTube. In this practice of mediation, a narrator or teacher explains the dynamics of the mind and how it’s likely to behave during meditation. It’ll help get you familiar with how to meditate.
When all else fails, treat yo’self. A little retail therapy never hurt anyone, especially when it comes to sales.
Arts and crafts can help ease stress, anxiety, and depression. It welcomes a state of “flow” like when you’re listening to a really DJ set or mix and you’re vibing to it. Crafting involves a degree of hands-on skills, don’t worry about the outcome just get to doing. Simply put, do things that involve building or creating. Roll up your sleeves and dive into crafting’s many forms including knitting, jewelry-making, decorative arts, and woodworking.
Even if it’s 15 minutes, disconnect from your phone, particularly social media. Limit your screen time, and make an effort to not check your phone (or at least socials) past a certain time. If scrolling on Instagram, Twitter, or Facebook is causing you stress then ask yourself how you can reduce your time on these platforms. Perhaps the harm may be a motivator enough to cut ties.
Essential oils are natural, concentrated oils extracted from plants and have been increasing in popularity. They can help you relax and meditate. Depending on the oils, you can inhale, ingest or apply onto your skin. Lavender, sandalwood and bergamot are popular essential oils for stress relief. Make sure to do your research before purchasing to ensure a brand’s purity and quality control standards.
Remember books? Take your mind to another dimension through good storytelling. Fiction, non-fiction, sci-fi, mystery, romance, horror, poetry, there are dozens of genres depending on your mood. Reading, much like meditation, puts your mind in a state of focus. Research shows reading not only helps with mental health but storytelling also improves feelings of connectedness and empathy.
Politics has been a touchy subject, but it’s time to normalize talking about this and the feelings it brings up. Recognize who makes up part of your inner circle because these people are your support community. They are the ones you can trust with opening up and sharing more about yourself.