The 2020 election cycle and aftermath has been stressful and can be hard to navigate. The center is here to help with tips to manage the stress that can come with coping with the current sociopolitical climate.
Unplugging from the constant news cycle can be difficult. Here are some helpful ways that you can unplug and step away from the monitors.
- Know your limits
It is okay to walk away from the news. Create boundaries between staying informed versus being overwhelmed.
- Blocking out time
Schedule time that you allow for yourself to catch up on the news. Set the timer and then hold yourself to the time boundary. Once the time is up, close the app and walk away.
- Use web extension
Social Fixer is a free web extension that allows for you to remove content from your Facebook timeline. You can add a list of keywords or phrases that you wish to not see as you are scrolling.
With the need for social justice being felt so strongly, it can seem hard to stop and pour back into yourself. Here are some tips to encourage you to stop and refuel.
Find the balance between caring for yourself and for caring for others. It is okay to say "no" because sometimes that means you are saying "yes" to yourself.
- Practicing self-care
Self-care is a practice. Take time to care for yourself. Having a healthy diet, engaging in physical activity, and sleeping are just some ways to engage in self-care.
- What brings you joy?
Sometimes the quickest way to refuel is to simply do the things that bring you joy. When was the last time you did an activity that made you smile?
We live in a 24 hour news cycle. It can be hard to stay in the here-and-now when everyone is focus on the past and the future. Here are some tips to help you stay in the moment.
Grounding is a technique that helps the mind to stay in the present moment. The most common grounding techniques focus on the senses. See if you can find 5 things you see, 4 things you hear, 3 things you feel, 2 things you smell and 1 one thing you taste.
- Self-Soothing Acts
Maladaptive emotions can be intense. Engaging in sensory things can help one take a step back from the maladaptive emotions and come back in the moment. ASMR videos, nature sounds, light blocking blinds, and aromatherapy are just some ways to engage in self-soothing practices.
- Meditation Apps
Sometimes technology can be helpful. There are several free apps on both Android and iOS systems that offer meditation services. Calm App, Headspace, Liberate, and Insight Timer are all great apps to use to start a meditation practice.
The pandemic has limited the ways we can engage in physical interaction, but it has not limited the way that we can connect with others. Human beings are social creatures and below are tips on building connections.
- Virtual connections
Technology has now field the gap caused by quarantine. Zoom dance parties, Netflix Party, TikTok challenges, Instagram Lives have now become the new way for individuals to build community.
- Spiritual Connection
Connecting to a entity outside of yourself can be a great way to engage in socialization. Many faith-based organizations are still offering services via virtual means and can provide a sense of support during this time.
- Take it Old School.
A computer is not the only way to connect with people. Grab a pen, a piece of paper, and a stamp and write a letter. Leave the text message alone and pick up the phone and make a phone call (gasp). Take an extra step to make the connection more meaningful.
One way to manage stress is to act. If you believe you are in a good mental space and you have the energy, go ahead and spring into action. Here are some tips to engage.
- Clubs and Organizations
Advocacy is best when it is done together. Connect to clubs and organizations that support the causes that you are passionate about.
- Identify Your Values
Take inventory on the things that are important to you. What motivates you to take action? What are your morals? What are your values? Are you living in alignment with your ideals? Remember to be curious about these answers and not to judge them.
- Become an Ally
Change can happen when individuals use their privilege and/or power to advocate for others. Look at ways in which you can be an advocate for others in your life.
Check out our counseling center virtual lecture on sociopolitical engagement and mental health!
Below are links to handouts and worksheets on a variety of mental health topics. You can also check out selected online resources via our Pinterest account @aucounselingctr. The Counseling Center does does not monitor or endorse the following materials. They should be used for educational purposes only and not as a substitute for professional intervention.
A more comprehensive collection of handouts can be found in our Center's Resource Library (MGC 214). Links to national websites with mental health resources can also be found by clicking on the resources below.
If you have any questions about these materials, please do not hesitate to contact the Counseling Center at 202-885-3500. More information about the Center's services can be located on our website.
Handouts and Worksheets
20 Time Management Tips
A Few Relaxation Exercises
Are You Stressed? Worksheet
Being Assertive, Saying No
Coping with a Sudden Terrible Event
Elements of Effective Listening
Healing a Broken Heart
Healthy and Unhealthy Relationships
Recovering Emotionally from a Disaster
Relax Your Stress Away
Reverse Culture Shock
Seasonal Affective Disorder
Self-Care Assessment Worksheet
Tips to Manage Procrastination
Transitioning to College: Tips
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- Anxiety and Depression Association of American
- American Psychological Association
- Asian American Psychological Association
- Association of Black Psychologists
- National Eating Disorders Association (NEDA)
- National Latina/o Psychological Association
- Office on Disability Issues in Psychology
- PTSD Alliance (Posstraumatic Stress Disorder)
- Society of Indian Psychologists
- Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA)
- The Steve Fund: Achieving Equity in Mental Health (for students of Color)
- The Trevor Project: Saving Young LGBTQ Lives
- Understanding Health Insurance
- U.S. Department of Veteran Affairs: Mental Health
- World Professional Association for Transgender Health (WPATH)