Today I woke up at 5am with mild anxiety about the election.
I am a remote worker and my peers and manager and I do not discuss politics. Having no outlet to share my political fears easily, I need a plan.
I don’t know who the next President will be – seemingly nobody does. I do know that I have some expertise in how to stay calm and power.
In the face of political, life, and economic ambiguity I want to share these lessons with you.
I put this short document together to help others who might feel deeply uncertain about life, work, and the future.
Here is my 5 step plan that I execute when the going gets tough. It’s time to activate this plan again.
I am going to exercise hard
The first and most important thing is to maintain physical and mental health. Health is a complicated facet of our lives that is hard to master even when we aren’t dealing with all the changes and complications that come with a global pandemic.
It’s hard to stick to a regular exercise routine and eat healthfully. Naturally it is hard manage our stress, be successful at work, and show up for our family and friends regardless of the global climate.
However, it is even more pressing to take care of our health and learn ways to incorporate healthy habits into our daily routines now more than ever. I am going to stretch, run, and crush some weights to start the day. Every single day.
I am going to eat healthfully
Turning off the news enables me to focus on my diet.
I don’t know about you but during the work week, and especially while working from home, my favorite meals are those that I can whip up in thirty minutes or less.
Wasting any time while the ballets are being counted in the kitchen is something I don’t favor. When I don’t take the time to plan out healthy food for the week, I too often grab unhealthy, processed foods. Or worse, I opt to order in from a restaurant which can become a costly expense pretty quickly.
I am going to focus on my posture and breathing
Clearly I can’t control the election but I can control how I sit and stand.
Ample data indicates that posture is linked to physical and mental health.
Human anatomy has been studied for hundreds of years, dating back to the ancient Egyptians as early as 1600 BC. In the 1500s AD, Leonard da Vinci began a series of drawings that were aimed at depicting the ideal human form.
He possessed an innate understanding that you must first know what “normal” or optimal form looks like to truly grasp what characterizes abnormality and disease.
I use a trigger point release lacrosse ball in order to help effectively release the muscles at the base of my skull called the suboccipital muscles.
These muscles often get tight when chronically assuming a forward head position, and can cause tension headaches. For my posture exercises, I use a single or double lacrosse ball. I place these balls directly under the base of my skull.
While keeping the ball here, I lay on my back with my chin in a tucked position so that I feel pressure from the ball pressing against my suboccipital muscles.
You should try this. You can either lay in this position with your head still or you can nod your head up and down or rotate your head side to side, massaging through any tender points.
Perform this exercise for one minute first thing in the morning and one minute at night before bed every day of your work week. It will help you see the world in a new way.
I am going to enjoy a CBD gummy
Cannabidiol or CBD is an active ingredient in marijuana. It is the “non-psychoactive” ingredient that does not have any intoxicating effects. It is now packaged in food and is a popular relaxant. CBD extracts create a highly therapeutic effect that is perfect for stress management.
I am going to get a massage
Well not in person but via another modern wonder: the electronic foot massager.
I own one and life would be less fun without it, that is for sure.
This massager relaxes my entire body and enables me to do my best stress free work. As my feet are being rubbed I will call friends, speak with loved ones, and check-in on the news.
Wrapping it all up: Stay calm and power on!
If you want to mitigate election related anxiety, exercise hard, and eat well.
Don’t forget to focus on your posture and breathing, treat yourself to a massage, and enjoy some CBD.
These steps help me.
I hope you (and all people following this election) can use this guidance to obtain a sense of composure and tranquility.
When the future is unknown, and high uncertainty exists, it’s best to focus on what you can control. My approach does just that.
I hope for a smooth and anxious next few days and weeks. If not, these steps will reduce my fears and empower me to put the best version of myself forward.