Search
  • Gretchen Smith

Quickly Overcome Election Stress - 3 tips for coping with stress and anxiety during difficult times

Are you struggling with stress and anxiety as a result of the elections this week? Well, you aren't alone! The 2020 elections are certainly one for history, and the stress and anxiety are too! Here is my experience with this challenging week's stress and energies and three ways you can cope with election stress and anxiety.


As of Friday, 11/6/2020, the election has been going on for four days. It seems the election has paralyzed the world and even I have become caught up in the time warp for a bit here and there.


My husband just walked into my office, exasperated. He works a demanding job, and he's going through an accelerated master's program. He has a lot on his plate. He just looked at me tirelessly and said I wish this whole election thing was over so I could focus again. We then had a little laugh knowing it is impacting us. I'm sure many of us felt the same.


Rolling back to election day evening, I received a message from my Spiritual Guru / Mentor. I thought this must be spam; she wasn't sending me a message? Why me? But it was for me.



She is a medium, channel, clairvoyant, intuitive healer, and so on. She is honestly the most gifted spiritual teacher I know of and highly respected. She can do it all, and her accuracy is unbelievable. She said she was scrolling through her list of students, and out of all of them, seven people stood out, and I was one.


She said she had been hearing from many of her students and clients that they were incredibly anxious and full of unease. She said I have similar energy and abilities to her, and she wanted to know how I was doing because she didn't feel this way for this election.


I'm not much of a political person. I defiantly have my views, and I'm open-minded to being educated on other angles as well. However, politics isn't for me. Even before this election, I found politics unhealthy with negative energies, hidden agendas, etc. Politics are a complete drain on energy and time. I like politics about as much as I enjoy spending time with two toddlers throwing tantrums and fighting over toys all day. But this election, I felt more passion and drive to exercise my right to vote and be part of the herd. Don't get me wrong, I have voted in the past, but this was different.


My husband and I voted back in October at an early polling site. We wanted to make sure our vote was counted. Election day, I woke early, around 4:30 am, excited to see what would happen. Yes, I was excited, not anxious, or stressed. I just wanted to know the outcome, regardless of who it was. Yes, I had voted for one particular candidate, and it would be nice if he won but, I wasn't going to be distraught if he didn't.

Early that morning, I turned on one of the news channels and just left it running all day as I was going about my day. That was my first mistake! My husband works at home and had a television on in his office too. We were getting the pregame show for the elections. Occasionally I'd pop into his office, and we'd talk about the latest polls or about something we had heard on the news. We were comparing notes, and so on.


By late afternoon I was feeling intense energy. An anxious agitation is the best way I can describe it. The funny thing was that I couldn't put my finger on this feeling. I'm a pretty calm person, even in severely stressful situations. I'm usually telling everyone it will be okay and looking for the silver lining in the worst-case scenario.

But this feeling it was kind of like I knew a train wreck was coming, but I'd be okay. Yet, still bracing for the crash, and it might be a total loss. And then it was time – polls were starting to close. Game time! I'm glued to the television, wondering who is going to win Florida? It just keeps dragging along – quite a nail biter.


It's now 7:46 pm CST, and that is when I got that message from the Spiritual Teacher on the Pacific Coast. She said, how are you feeling today? I thought this is weird – why is she asking me of all people? I follow her and take some classes now and then, but we don't message each other – ever.

I read on; she said, "I have been hearing some crazy stories of people with MAJOR ANXIETY… but, I am not feeling it as much so. I was looking through the list of my students, and your name popped out as someone who has abilities similar to mine. So, I was just wondering how you are feeling the energy today?"


She continues, "We are both super sensitive but NOT so sensitive that we can't handle ANYTHING, YA KNOW?" She says, just wondering if you are feeling it? Then, she said sorry to bug you. She explained, of 1797 people on her list, she was called to reach out to me and six others.


Well, needless to say, I was shocked that I popped out to her, and she wanted my input on the energy I'm feeling. I have always known I felt energies but not necessarily on her level. I was honored and then instantly embarrassed because I was feeling anxious and ungrounded.

I wrote back and shared that. I also explained that I knew better. I was ungrounded and glued to the elections.


You see, I fell into the media abyss. I subjected myself to endless hours of media. Media is basically all negative energy. Yes, empaths, intuitive, and regular people feel the energy from TV or forms of media, whether they know it or not.



Even on a typical day of news, there is generally only one little segment of a feel-good story, usually at the very end of the show. On an average day, I watch the first 5 to maybe 10 minutes of news informing the most critical events and then turning it off. I just want to be notified and detach from the negative energy.

With the election, I did not protect myself, and I got sucked in. I received the message right on time; it was the wake-up and moment of self-awareness I needed. I took a few minutes to gathered myself. I did a little grounding work, went and got my favorite grounding bracelet, meditated, and felt so much better. Only to get sucked back in later that night. Yes, can you believe it!? I let that happen again!


They say the first step is admitting you have a problem – well, Houston, I was having a problem. This cycle repeated its self over the past few days. I discovered that direct TV channel 200 would play four news stations at once. How cool is that? NOT! I got so consumed by the media. I would crawl my way out, turn off the tv, go about my day, and then find myself back in front of it again. I was in an ugly cycle.


Then, I attended a meeting. No! Not A.A. or news-watchers anonymous but a webinar on grounding, cutting ties, and social media imprints (this was all by synchronicities). It just popped up. The timing was perfect! I love how the universe provides in divine timing.


I'm now refreshed, clear, and I'm back from the dark energy of news media election coverage!


You see, we all create our reality with a little help from the universe. If I watched CNN, MSNBC, Fox and Friends, News Max regularly, I might as well have an underground bunker, burial plot ready, and tons of ammunition because the sky is falling and the world is ending every darn day, not just election day. Although, they did make it seem more intense and worse for the election. But that is not the reality I want, and I'm sure you don't either.


Here is what you need to know to survive challenging times.


FOCUS ONLY ON WHAT YOU CAN CONTROL

Yes, focus on what you can control because you can't control the Presidential election, senate, or the house. You will be in so much more peace despite the outcome of elections if you focus on what you can control. When we worry or are anxious or stressed-out, take a deep breath, bring yourself back to the center, and examine what you truly have control over. You can control how you react to situations, your attitude, how you should best spend your time for your highest good, and so on.


Remember, you can't control other's behaviors, but you can manage your response. You may not be able to control people or outcomes, but you can be a role model or positive influencer.

You can also control how much media (social media, radio, tv, etc.) you are exposed to.

After you have identified what you can control, it's time to let the rest go. You can do this with a little ritual. Mentally visualize your worries floating up to the sky into the universe and then say, "universe, I give (insert your concern) to you to take off my plate, and I allow you to work with ( insert your worries) for the highest and best good. That's it!

It's incredible how good this little practice feels. You will instantly feel lighter.


"Incredible change happens in your life when you decide to take control of what you do have power over instead of craving control over what you don't." -Anonymous.

MAKE A PLAN

Create a plan to keep you relaxed and peacefully; engage in healthy, productive activities.

  • Schedule time to work out or take a walk outside

  • Eat healthy (don't get sucked into consuming comfort food, caffeine, or alcohol because you are feeling some anxiety) – the short-term temporary feeling isn't worth it.

  • Work on a project or take up something meaningful and calming and to occupy your time.

  • Avoid people, news, or topics that will require you to engage in heated conversation or issues.

  • Get plenty of sleep or rest – meditate if possible.

  • Get involved and make a difference if there is a cause that has you up at night. Getting involved is a great way to funnel your energy positively that contributes to the greater good.


BE PRESENT AND BE SELF AWARE

When we are consumed by stuff happening in our life, like elections, work deadlines, illness, or school projects, and go into the abyss, we forget to be present and self-aware. It happens to the best of us, even me.

If we frequently take little moments during the day to do a self-check-in and be aware of how we feel, we can make minor adjustments to feel better. The key is to adjust before you are overwhelmed with anxiety or stress. It's much harder to get grounded once you have been flooded with negative energy and thoughts.


It's essential to be self-aware – it's imperative to be present too. Being present is slightly different in regards to more focus is placed on your thoughts. Be focused on the present moment; notice what is happening around you; what thoughts are you thinking? Are they of the present moment?

Remember, the past is in the past. Please leave it in the past. The future is a story you are creating in your mind; it hasn't happened. It isn't reality. These stories are often fear-based, negative, worst-case scenarios. Future based anxiety and stress is often like pouring gasoline on a smoldering fire; it just takes off like crazy.


We all have these stories we create. Take a moment and pause. When was the last time you did this? I know I can't be the only parent to lay in bed at night because their child didn't come home on time. Then the next thing you know, you think they were in a ditch somewhere. Can you relate?


One thing we can do when these "stories" creep up is to ask yourself, is it true? The answer is almost always no. Another technique is to acknowledge your thought, see it as just that "a thought" and not reality in your present moment. Let it go and move on.


I spoke to my sister on Friday evening – we are a few days deep into the election drama at this point. She called, and I said, "Hi, how are you?" She said, "I'm fine now, better than I was Tuesday." I said, "oh, what happened on Tuesday?" --- she said, "Uh, the election."

Like I've been under a rock. My mind was somewhere else like perhaps something dire happened to my niece or nephews. Honestly, my family is much more important to me than an election on the grand scale of life.


I had left the election drama in the past and gave it to the universe. But, right off the bat, the topic was back. We chatted for a while, she told me she was stressed over the election, and I told her I was getting prepared to do my podcast on the topic.


Knowing it may be a loaded question, I asked her what was stressing her out so much about the election. I was just curious, and I just wanted another perspective. By the way, she is a staunch anti-Trumper to the point where I purposely avoid politics with her because her opinions are so strong and negative.


My sister began to tell me several worst-case scenarios if Trump were to be elected. These were mainly stories she had created during her "worry sessions," as I call them. I suppose they could become a reality if elected, but it is a real stretch. She told me one specific long-range, years down the road worst-case scenarios. I said, wow, I had never thought about that. Then I thought, wow, how much time down the rabbit hole is she spending? Did I spend that much time down the rabbit hole? What about our society? How much time are we all spending or wasting coming up with "stuff" or "stories" to stress ourselves out? What type of tole is this taking on our Country, our mind, body, and soul?


I literally watched hours and hours of news on four news channels at once, crunching numbers and creating story or scenario after scenario on paths to 270. It was like riding on a roller coaster that would never end; unless you turned off the tv, of course, which I didn't. Our loved ones are doing the same thing, creating scenarios. Our whole Country is vibing off this low energy.


In this present moment, by not going down the rabbit hole, by not drinking the cool-aid, becoming self-aware, and having a healthy game plan focused on what you can control, our life can be so much fulfilling, and we can create our own reality. This takes practice. But with practice, you will find you can use this in many difficult or stressful situations.


Even I, who knows better, got sucked into this week's events. So, be gentle with yourself.


"You can influence, direct, and control your own environment. You can make your life what you want it to be." -Napoleon Hill

So, when you catch yourself becoming anxious or slipping into the abyss of media, worst-case scenarios, current events, or family drama, remember, focus on what you can control, make a plan, be present, and self-aware. With practice and focus, we can flip the energy and be high vibing, happier, and more at peace.

11 views0 comments

Recent Posts

See All