5 Healthy Ways to Handle Post-Election Emotions

Like any presidential election in the past, some people with opposing views may find it hard to see eye to eye. As a result of this, you may be experiencing a negative impact on close relationships with friends or family.
We had a chance to speak with Dr. Tanya Martin, clinical psychologist and Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan provider, who shared some healthy, appropriate ways to express your feelings post-election, no matter what they may be.
  1. Acknowledge Your Feelings: Whether you’re feeling happy or sad, it’s important to react in a way that feels natural. Internalizing emotions can be toxic to your mental health, so allow yourself to cry due to sadness, or smile and laugh to express joy. Turning to spirituality or community involvement can also be positive forms of expression.
  2. Unplug: Watching the news and scrolling through social media can fuel the urge to argue with those who may not share the same political views as you. Take time to distract yourself with something away from TVs and phones, like reading a book or exercising, to relax and avoid disagreements.
  3.  Agree to Disagree: When you’re faced with the reality that a loved one doesn’t feel the same over politics, work on practicing acceptance. Attempting to change another person’s political views is like saying, “my beliefs are better than yours,” which can lead to long-term damage of a close relationship.
  4. Change the Conversation: Because the holidays are approaching, some people are anticipating that politics will come into the conversations with family. If this is the case, there are polite ways to change the subject. Think about the occasion that brought you together, and bring the discussion back to a happy, holiday focus.
  5. Move Forward: The votes have been counted, so it’s imperative to make the best of our new political environment together. That may mean taking the time to apologize and forgive in order to let go of negative feelings toward those who have opposing viewpoints. With the season of giving just around the corner, turn the focus to passion points you share beyond politics.

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Photo Credit: samantha celera via Flickr

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