I have thought a lot about what and how to write on this topic, yet I keep re-writing this piece because I can’t seem to quite get it right. My hope is to support you, my many readers with ADHD, through these turbulent weeks of political tension. I want to tell you that it’s ok. That it’s normal to have anxiety if your candidate didn’t win and tension if your candidate did win. Whether you are celebrating or stinging with pain and anger, express it with dignity. Regardless of your political leanings, we all have ADHD. ADHD is what is bringing us together; what’s making you read (I hope) this newsletter.
ADHD makes us super aware and super sensitive. And yes, super impulsive at times.
I am on social media. A LOT. And I see- I FEEL the anger. The fear. The resentment. I see people un-friending others because of how they voted. I see people trying to make sense of what is happening in this country. And happily, I see people taking action. Good action, not flag burning action.
As a therapist, I am supposed to try my best to stay neutral. To be accepting. To understand behaviors…
Today, I am at a loss.
So I keep thinking- how can I help all of you? How do I keep politics out of the equation and focus on your feelings?
The country is in flux and just about everyone is feeling stress.
Having ADHD is stressful even on the best of days. But right now, I’m hearing and seeing a dramatic increase in emotional reactivity. From both sides. And guess what? I feel it too. I’m not immune, believe me.
With ADHD comes rumination, worry and oftentimes, impulsivity, hypersensitivity and even rage. I think we need to put that center stage as we deal with others and deal with our own inner feelings. These are not easy times for those of us (meaning: most of us) who are acutely sensitive. And many of us have a very very strong sense of right and wrong. We want to make things right because things have gone so wrong for most of our lives. Thank you, ADD!
So how do we deal with the stressors? How do we move on? Here are some tips that I hope will help you.
7 Survival Tips for Dealing with the Election
1. Remember that life goes on. Certainly you have felt like things were going to push you over the edge before. Yet, you survived.
2. If you’re feeling angry and depressed, and it seems excessive, please reach out and get support from others or consult with a mental health specialist.
3. If your candidate won, you are probably stressed, too, hearing comments from people who are chastising your party, your choice. You want to lash out. You don’t understand “the other side.” Find ways to comfort yourself.
4. If your candidate lost, take action. Nothing feels better when you feel helpless than to take charge. Volunteer to help others in need. Join groups (peaceful ones, please!) who share your values and political leanings. Try and learn from those who have opposite political leanings. What makes them tick? Why did they vote the way they did?
5. Take better care of YOU. Take some time off work. Get away. Indulge. Rest.
6. Telling yourself you’ll stop worrying or ruminating can be almost impossible. Instead, set aside a specific time each day and let yourself go ahead… and worry. Then stop and move on.
7. Stop reading political posts on social media, take time off from the news on TV and avoid the newspapers.
I hope this helps.
How are YOU managing? Any tips you’d like to share? Please do so below in the Comment section.