As a relentless champion of hope, your vote is your voice for the colorectal cancer community and we are so grateful to fight alongside you.
Exercising your right to vote is a critical part of advocacy, but it can come with stress and anxiety about the election results. This year in particular, many Americans are facing and coping with problems we’ve never faced before.
There are a number of things you can do to help relieve some of the stress and anxiety you’re feeling.
Tip #1: Get a Restful Night of Sleep
Your mind might be racing tonight. Try your best to get a good night of sleep so you have the energy and clarity to take on the potentially stressful week ahead. If you find yourself struggling to fall asleep, try these tips:
- Limit your interaction with TV, news, and social media for several hours before bed.
- Silence your phone. If you don’t, every time the light flashes or makes a noise it invites you to continue interacting, which keeps brain activity on high.
- Use the “do not disturb” schedule setting on your phone to help yourself set boundaries.
Tip #2: Choose Your Crew Wisely
Knowing who you are going to be around can help ease some anxiety. Make a plan to spend election night on video chat with friends and family you feel supported by!
Whether you have election anxiety or not, try moderating your participation in spirited political discussions, even among like-minded people.
Tip #3: Try to Stay in the Moment
It can be easy for anxiety to cloud your ability to think clearly and rationally. Remind yourself that the only thing you have control over in this situation is what you do next.
If you’re finding it difficult to stay in the moment, reach out to family and friends for support. You can also call the Fight CRC Resource Line to speak to someone and connect with helpful resources for managing your mental health.
Tip #4: Feel Your Feelings
It’s hard to let ourselves feel negative emotions. It’s easy to want to ignore them and run away. Try letting yourself feel them and then make a plan to move forward!
How do you give yourself permission to feel in the moment instead of packing them down?
- Journal and write about what you’re feeling
- Talk to someone you trust
- Most of all – let yourself be human. If that means unlocking the floodgates and crying, so be it!
Tip #5: Eat Well
What we eat plays a huge role in how we feel physically AND emotionally! If you are an anxious snacker, make a plan to have healthy snacks ready to dig into.
Tip #6: Take a (Social) Media Break
Get off of social media for a few days! Being plugged in to every detail is only going to make your anxiety and stress worse. Especially if you get sucked into those back-and-forth comment threads!
Limit the amount of time you spend looking at the news to an hour or less, a few times a day. If you’re someone who is constantly tempted by the social media apps on your phone, try deleting them for a bit. This will help you be intentional about when you’re seeing out the information.If you aren’t ready to delete the apps completely, turn off push notifications so you aren’t alerted constantly, which can also cause anxiety and restlessness.
Tip #7: Move Your Body
If you participated in our record-setting 2020 Virtual Climb for a Cure, you know firsthand how good it feels to get outside and get moving. Engaging in exercise can help combat stress and regular exercise can bring happiness!
Regular exercise is important for everyone, but especially for those facing colorectal cancer. The side effects of treatment may leave you feeling low energy, but studies show that exercise leads to improved outcomes.
Be sure to start slow and listen to your body.
Tip #8: Express Gratitude
Practicing gratitude can sometimes be difficult. But facing each day with gratitude and purposely practicing it can make a difference in your health.
Keeping a gratitude journal — just writing down five things for which you are grateful every week — enhances the immune system, reduces aches and pains, lowers blood pressure, and helps us sleep better. It also reduces feelings of loneliness and isolation.
November is National Gratitude Month! What better way to celebrate than to practice with us?! Download our Fight CRC Gratitude Journal for FREE and journal along with us this month.
Tip #9: Celebrate the Wins!
Advocacy is a long game. Try not to focus only on the national election. Advocacy also happens at the state and local level. While it’s easy to focus on the national headlines, there are things to be celebrated in your community.
What was on your ballot locally that passed and is an improvement for your city? Were there candidates locally you were rooting for who won their race? Celebrate with them and lean into that win.
Tip #10: Channel Your Energy for Good
If you find it hard to NOT think about politics, lean into it and join us as an advocate! No matter who wins or loses, Fight CRC will continue to work with elected officials who are champions for the colorectal cancer community.
We need grassroots advocates on the ground in every state to make a difference in local communities. If you are ready to join us as a relentless champion of hope in your community, join us. Turn your stress into action and your pain into purpose!
We hope these tips help ease some of the anxiety and stress you might be feeling.
As a reminder, Fight Colorectal Cancer is a nonpartisan organization. No matter who is in office, we will always fight on behalf of the colorectal cancer community. We fight for you.
As offices get settled post-election, we will be sharing how we plan to continue fighting for our policy priorities. We hope you will join us in the fight against colorectal cancer.