There is often a sense of pain and loss if an election doesn’t go the way you had hoped, in fact Lifeline receives an increased volume of calls in the lead-up to and aftermath of an election. Voting isn’t just driven by policy, rather the parties and leaders we support are often an important part of our identities. For those who are feeling the post-election blues, Lifeline has prepared six top tips for getting through:
Allow yourself to feel what you are feeling. Voting is often done more from the heart than from the head, our political beliefs influence us deeply, on an emotional level. The pain and disappointment you feel if your party loses is normal, and valid. Allow yourself space to feel these emotions, better yet, name them so you can go forward with awareness of what you are feeling which can really make a difference to how long those feelings last.
Spend time with someone who is in the same boat. Discussing your concerns with like-minded friends and family can be very reassuring.
Take a break from social media. If you don’t think you can manage taking a complete break from social media, consider hiding posts that particularly enrage you or unfollow people who post things that wind you up. Attacking people in the comments section on social media is unlikely to make you feel better and you may end up feeling a lot worse.
Keep things in perspective. What you most fear about the incoming government will not come in to fruition immediately. It is unlikely you will see change in the first year. Don’t start to grieve for things that haven’t happened yet. It’s a waste of your precious energy.
Get some sunshine. Self-care is the key to recovery. Spring is upon us! Heading outdoors is an easy mood booster. Visit a green space, get in nature and realise that life goes on.
Focus on things you can control. Continue to take actions that are in line with your values, for those who are feeling helpless, focus on a couple of issues you feel passionate about. Turn your anger in to productive action.
The good news is that strong feelings of loss from elections doesn’t seem to affect us in the long term. That said, some people may be more adversely affected by the election result than others. If you are struggling with high levels of depression, anxiety or even thinking about harming yourself or others it is important you reach out for support. We are here for you 24/7 on 0800 LIFELINE (543 354).