Five Ways to Calm Your Election Day Nerves

Election Day is stressful. All the hopes and fears for the next four years play out over the course of a few hours. Even though we likely won’t have the full results by Tuesday night, waiting on vote tallies and watching cable news programs can provide all kinds of stress.

Some people are tuning out entirely, choosing to spend their day away from the internet and social media. It sounds pretty nice, actually. But what if you can’t get away to a luxury yurt? We’ve got some chill Election Day alternatives that you can try from the comfort of your own home (or deli; we’ll get to that).

Try Guided Meditation.

Several websites and meditation studios are offering free, guided meditation throughout the day on Tuesday. Some have already posted and are specifically tailored to election-related stress, including this 20-minute guided meditation from motivational speaker Jay Shetty. Others, like Virginia-based Sun and Moon Yoga Studio, are offering guided meditation from 6 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. through an open Zoom room that people can join (and leave) at their leisure. And if those don’t work for you, there are plenty of YouTube alternatives.

Get a (Free) Workout In.

Maybe working out to relieve stress is more your speed. Planet Fitness is offering people a free workout and hydromassage at all their nationwide locations from Nov. 3-8, assuming gyms are open in your area. If they’re not and that brings on more stress, maybe try going for a little run or taking your dog on that extra long walk they’ve always dreamed of.

Watch Some Calming Video Streams.

If you’re stuck working or can’t seem to pull yourself away from your computer, try a calming video. YouTube’s chock full of ‘em, from serene waterfalls to blissful brooks. NowThis is even offering an election-specific calming stream that includes breathing exercises and “peaceful nature footage from all 50 states.” It goes live on their YouTube channel at 5:30 p.m.

Watch People Restore Cast Iron Pans.

Okay, hear me out—watching people clean up old, rusted cast iron pans is really soothing. There are a lot of other YouTube niches like this, but there’s something about watching these old timey beauties restored to their former glory (no, this is not a metaphor for America). It’s a multi-step process that involves a lot of scrubbing and scraping, which makes it a natural choice for ASMR. But even if that’s not your thing, it’s still fairly cathartic and can help take your mind off things for a few minutes.

Go Get a Sandwich.

That’s right, Election Day and National Sandwich Day fall on the same date this year. Guess 2020 ain’t all bad, right? Go to your favorite local bodega or sandwich shop and treat yourself to the biggest, tastiest sandwich you can buy. The multiple layers of meat and cheese will distract you from the outside world, and so will the inevitable carb nap you’ll take afterwards.

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