You don’t need me to tell you that we’re living in stressful times. With less than two weeks to the 2020 presidential election, a lot of us are operating in miserable, anxious, uncertain limbo. The good(ish) news is that you don’t have to stew in your stress—there are things you can do to feel a little bit better and to mentally prepare for the (potentially drawn-out) election. Not only will starting now help you get in a better place mentally, but you might also learn some tools that will come in handy on Election Day and beyond.
Below, find some mental health resources specifically designed to help you cope with election stress, from guided meditations to self-care tips.
1. Ten Percent Happier
This mindfulness and meditation app launched a 2020 Election Sanity Guide with a ton of offerings to help people gear up for Election Day. Right now, some free guided meditations are available, including meditations on resilience and transforming anger. The Ten Percent Happier podcast, too, has a few episodes as part of their Election Sanity Series. Lastly, starting October 27th (a week before Election Day), you can participate in their 7-day Election Sanity Challenge to learn some last-minute coping tips to get you through. You can sign up now here after you download the app.
Shine, a BIPOC-owned self-care app, can help you figure out exactly how to take care of yourself through the election. Just take their interactive election self-care quiz here to get personalized tips and reminders. You can also hit up Shine’s in-app election anxiety meditation playlist, which includes seven free meditations.
If you haven’t heard of Coa, it’s a “gym for mental health,” offering classes on mental health and emotional fitness. Because Coa only recently launched, a lot of their offerings are still incoming, but you can try out one of their intro classes for free. Specific to the election, Coa is hosting a free live Q&A about political anxiety around the upcoming election on October 27th. You can sign up here.
4. Real Therapy
Real Therapy is a unique and (currently) all-virtual “mental health experience” with on-demand therapy courses (called pathways), group salons, and therapist-led events. They have two upcoming Election Anxiety Town Hall events, one on October 27th and one on November 2nd. Space is limited, so if it fills up by the time you check it out, their “What to Do With All This Anxiety” pathway, available with membership, might just come in handy, too.
You’ve likely heard of Headspace, an often-recommended meditation app beloved for its guided meditations. They curated some helpful (and free) meditations that might help with election anxiety here, as well as some more helpful information about why meditation might be helpful for you during this time.
6. HealthyMinds Program
Created by a nonprofit affiliated with the Center for Healthy Minds at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, the free HealthyMinds Program app has meditations, exercises, and podcast-style lessons designed to build foundational mindfulness skills. They have two new free meditations for the election, one on dealing with election anxiety here and one on empathy and healing around political division here. They also curated some more mental health tools for election stress, which you can check out here.
This might be kind of a weird one, but many groups and individual practitioners are offering election-themed virtual events through Eventbrite, a lot of them free or only a few dollars. It might require a little searching via keyword (election mental health and Election Day are good places to start), but you will find plenty of meditations, breathwork and yoga classes, discussions, and workshops for mental health.
Wisdo is a virtual support app that allows you to join specific themed communities to connect with others who are in the same boat. They have a space for discussing election mental health, and you can set filters based on what you’re feeling (anger, anxiety, unable to disconnect from news, etc.) and what you need help with (such as navigating family conflicts or stress-relief). You have to pay for membership ($6/month or $40/year), but there is a 7-day free trial if you want to time it to when you think you’ll be most stressed around the election.
One last meditation app for the road! Breethe’s Election Stress Relief Collection features 15 free meditations and music playlists. The collection is uniquely divided into three categories (voters, election workers, and candidates) to give you personalized meditations based on your situation and goals. Check out the in-app collection by downloading Breethe on iOS and Google Play.