It doesn't matter who you voted for in the 2020 presidential election... Dr. Wendy Walsh knows that we ALL could use some help recovering from this election stress!
So she put together a list of ways you can cope, as well as some good apps to use for managing your mental health.
A few ways to cope:
1. Set limits on how much news you consume - research shows that if you say you won't think about a topic like politics, all you will think about is politics.
2. Get involved - Uncertainty can be paralyzing, so taking control of your own actions is an easy way to reduce stress. And, if you're frustrated by politics, get involved in a campaign or volunteer.
3. Stay active - Moving your body diminishes overall anxiety levels. Going for a walk, taking an exercise class or going for a jog a few times a week can help calm your body.
4. Read good news - Offset the daily news you consume with inspiring stories of kindness, bravery and humanitarianism around the world.
Apps to help with your mental health:
Headspace - hundreds of guided meditations, including ones you can do on the go. It offers tips on everything from managing stress to getting better sleep.
Insight Timer - offers nearly 10,000 free guided meditations to choose from. Users can modify the meditation to what they need at the moment, choosing calming tunes such as ambient sounds or the sounds of bells. Also has more than 3,000 discussion groups and local meet-ups run by users.
Happify – is one case where playing games on a smartphone can serve a meaningful purpose. The app, free with in-app purchase options, has different tracks coached by trained professionals. It can help people who need parenting advice, suffer from anxiety or need to feel more confident in themselves. As a user, you choose tracks and then play calming games to help you reach your goal.
Talkspace - allows users to connect virtually with a licensed therapist. For $49 per week, there's private access to a therapist via text, audio or video chat, as often as daily or multiple times per day.
Anxiety Reliever - The subscription-based app has audio sessions that focus on relaxation and overcoming anxiety and stress.
10 Percent Happier – This app, created by ABC News' Dan Harris, features guided meditations, videos, talks and sleep content. The app also now features a Coronavirus Sanity Guide that offers free resources including a daily "live sanity break" and weekly podcasts.
Calm - Like the Headspace app, Calm is an app for sleep, meditation and relaxation to help users get better sleep and lower stress through guided meditations, sleep stories, breathing programs, stretching exercises and relaxing music.
And remember: telling someone they are bad only makes them worse... As Dr. Wendy reminds us, we need to reach out and really listen to others. It matters!