Thursday, June 9, 2016

5 Ways to Stay Zen During An Election Year

Unless you're living under a rock buried in the Andes mountains, it's the height of a presidential election year here in the U.S. Election years get crazy. People fight over beliefs, values, moral codes, and ethics. Issues of religion, race, economics, social structure, war, education, gender and so many more are discussed ad nauseum. Fights break out online, in social groups, and between complete strangers at rallies. (Don't even get me started on the crazies at the Trump rallies!) Friends are lost, family is frustrated, and all because we need to elect a new president. It's enough to make us all need a weekly standing appointment at a local spa!

So, with all this chaos and anger around, how do we maintain zenful homeostasis and avoid being sucked into the mosh pit of doom that is surrounding us during an election year? 

Try some, or all, of these steps to bring election year zen into your life:

1. Hide all politically charged friends from your social media newsfeeds.

We all know social media is a sounding board for EVERYTHING. Let's face it, people are uber confident when they are not having to deal with confrontation. Behind a screen, you can say whatever you want and not feel any of the emotions attached to looking someone in the eyes and saying, "If you vote for <candidate> you're a <expletive>!"

To avoid all this annoying conversation and computer chair gusto, just hide them from your newsfeed until after the inauguration of the next Commander-in-Chief. You may even realize you don't miss any of their posts and just keep them hidden. Either way, problem solved, and your life is already getting more peaceful. Look at you go! 

2. Avoid talking politics with anyone who gets irrationally upset when you disagree or is a political talking head.

Do you have one of those overzealous friends or family members that will blatantly tell you, "No, your beliefs are completely, stupidly, wrong." Do they blabber on for hours about how Donald Trump or Hillary Clinton are the cat's meow, and if you feel differently, well then you must be living under a rock? Once again, to completely avoid this awkward scenario of having to fight over something neither of you will ever agree on, just politely say, "I prefer to talk about something else." It might be awkward, but it totally works. It also saves you the drama of having to tell your snobby, political guru friend that you have a hard time voting for old men that wear self-tanner. 

So much zen is starting to happen right now.

3. Read and listen to neutral political news (or avoid it altogether if you really just can't stand politics). 

Election years drive me bonkers because it seems everywhere I turn, the media is pushing an agenda. It's hard to find neutral ground and unbiased sources of information, ultimately leaving me feeling like I have no idea what to believe. Here are a few news outlets that have been rated more neutral, according to this study're getting closer to perfect peace.

4. Approach everyone with an attitude of acceptance.

It's totally ok if your neighbor Steve doesn't #feelthebern, or your dad thinks that Hillary Clinton is a demon in some middle-aged woman's meat suit. I realize that is totally morbid, but you haven't met my father, or listened to his myriad reasons of why I should vote for his chosen candidate, and why I should never vote for her. Remember, it's all about acceptance. They totally have a right to vote for who they think is best. You just let 'em talk, and tune into the memories you have of the best day of your life and throw in a perfectly timed, "uh-huh" or "hmm, that's weird", and suddenly you've validated someone who you disagree with. 

Laugh it off, guys. Everyone will continue to go nuts until the president is in position, and then, they'll go back to sharing name tests and pictures of their babies and talking about last night's episode of The Voice. You might as well just sit back and enjoy the show.

5. Vote for your choice.

If the election stresses you out, make sure to cast your vote for the person you feel is most up for the job. Plain and simple. Let your voice count.

Election years can be crazy and annoying. There are ways to get through them with peace of mind, and I have a strong feeling that if you give some of these ideas a try, you'll be feeling serenity right away. 

Peace, love... and vote.

++ How do you stay sane in an election year? Share your tips below!

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