A guide to maintaining your mental health ahead of Election Day

The internet can be a difficult place to navigate even during the most precedent times.

The internet can be a difficult place to navigate even during the most precedent times. In 2020, it can be downright unsafe. Many mental health experts are telling you to get offline — which is good advice. Go ahead, click out of this tab, turn off your device and go stand in the sun.

If you’re still here, don’t worry. Whether you have to be online for your job or you simply can’t stay off, there are parts of the internet that can be helpful for managing any anxiety Election Day might bring. Here are a few: 

If you or someone you know is actively in crisis, you can contact the National Suicide Prevention hotline at 1-800-273-8255 or go to their website to chat with a trained counselor. If you are part of the LGBTQ+ community, you can also reach out to the Trevor Project at 1-866-488-7386 or through their website. You’ll soon be able to call 988 in case of emergencies — but not quite yet. 

Even if you’re not in crisis, talking to a professional can be helpful. Online companies such as TalkSpace, BetterHelp and Doctor on Demand can connect you to a professional immediately. If you prefer to go through your insurance, Psychology Today has a good directory with reviews for most providers. And there are specific resources for members of the LGBTQ+ community as well. 

While cosmetic self-care isn’t going to solve deep-rooted issues you may be confronting, it also doesn’t hurt. The important thing is to find practices that work for you: “Plenty of people have an idea of what self-care looks like ― yoga and quinoa might be involved ― but if those aren’t your things, you won’t stick with it,” author Laura Vanderkam told HuffPost. And if you’re still having trouble, here’s some advice from a Buddhist monk

Another good library of self-care? Your App library. There are tons of self-care apps, ranging from meditation apps like Calm to apps like Happify, which are just plain fun. 

Give ASMR a try. 

Spring cleaning can be therapeutic any time of the year. 

Or let yourself be a couch potato and watch one of these or these or these recommendations from the Changing America team. 

Follow this Twitter account for reminders to be more intentional about your social media use throughout the day. 

And if you do see something online that makes you upset, here are a few ways to stay calm in the Age of Outrage. 

Helping others can be a way of helping yourself. It’s not too late to participate in Mental Health Awareness Month.

If you’re following the election results throughout the day, make sure to verify your news sources. Notre Dame University has a helpful list of tips for fact-checking and avoiding “fake news,” and the City University of New York has plenty of resources to make it easier. 

If you’re trying to unplug, try this election distractor created by the New York Times to keep your restless mind occupied. 

If you’re drinking, do these things ahead of time. Your future (hungover) self will thank you. 

It’s still a pandemic, which can only make this time more difficult. If you can spend some time outside safely, it can not only make you physically but also mentally stronger (yes, we know it’s cold). If you can’t, however, we’ve compiled some ways to cope

Even though you can’t spend this day with others as you might have in the past, there are still ways to be together

Take a minute to watch this video and breathe.

Unlike previous years, we know ahead of time that there will likely not be an official “winner” at the end of Election Day. But if you’re up late and can’t fall asleep, here is some surprising advice on how to sleep better.

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