It’s no secret that this election cycle has been stressful for everyone, regardless of party lines. On top of this is the anxiety that has been stirring since last spring when the pandemic began, which has left many people feeling exhausted and overwhelmed. Despite the current turbulent political climate and uncertainty in these challenging times, there are plenty of ways that you can regain control and feel more at ease.
When issues become too big to tackle alone, you may begin to feel helpless. It’s important to recognize that you are not alone in these feelings and many other people are currently experiencing similar feelings of shock, anger, or fear. While your fight or flight instinct might cause you to freeze up in the face of challenges, the reality is that focusing on negative events without taking action can make you feel even less in control and more lost.
Taking action (not just thinking about it) is one of the best antidotes to feeling powerless. Below are tools and tips that can help you take action and navigate uncertain times with confidence.
Limit Your Media Exposure
This could mean turning off your TV, and spending less time on the internet. Avoid reaching your limit and instead schedule 10-15 minutes each day when you can check the news to stay informed without becoming overwhelmed.
While this might seem contrary to the point above, seeking out credible news sources and staying informed can help you feel more in control by being aware of updates on issues that are important to you. Another added benefit to staying informed is that you will be more educated and capable of making a difference by writing to your representatives about a particular issue or being an advocate for a cause.
Move Your Body
Any kind of physical activity, such as walking, working out, or going for a bike ride can be a great way to get pent up emotions out in a more constructive form. Plus taking a walk in a pleasant place is a great way to invite calmness to your mind and thoughts.
Practice Breathing Exercises
Slow, deep, controlled breathing tends to center us again when racing thoughts and daily pressures begin to take control. Try breathing in for 5 seconds, then out for 5 seconds as you tell yourself to relax more and more with each breath. Do this for about one minute.
Spend Time With Supportive People
Whether it’s friends, family, or coworkers, gather with those who are part of your trusted support network, who nourish you, and make you simply feel good when you’re around them. They can help calm your mind and make you feel at ease.
Contact Colorado Crisis Services
If you feel like you are experiencing a mental health crisis or if stress and anxiety are impeding your ability to function on a daily basis, it’s time to get some extra support from trained professionals. You can call the crisis hotline 24/7 and be connected to a therapist by dialing 1-844-493-TALK (8255) or visit their website for more information.
The bottom line is that you know your mental health better than anyone else. If you feel like you are having difficulties staying on track or your mental health is suffering as a result of politics or uncertainty, there are plenty of resources available to help you through your journey. Additionally, you can always reach out to our friendly staff at Jefferson Center and be connected to the services you need by calling us at 303-425-0300 or filling out the new client contact form here.
If you need more resources or connections, here are some that might help you with information on specific topics:
Other Resource Areas
Catholic Charities 303-742-0828
Colorado Immigrant Rights Coalition 303-922-3344
Lutheran Family Services 303-980-5400
The Center 303-733-7743
Provides the following services:
- Rainbow Alley: Drop in center for youth (ages 11-21) – virtual hours available
- Sage of the Rockies for those 50+ years old
- Transgender Programs and Services
- Individual and Group Support
ACLU (American Civil Liberties Union) 303-777-5482
NAACP (National Association for the Advancement of Colored People) 720-210-9889
The Blue Bench (formerly known as RAAP) 303-329-9922
The Center for Trauma & Resilience (formerly known as Denver Center for Crime Victims) 24 hour hotline: 303-894-8000
Health First Colorado (Medicaid)
U.S. Senate (two senators from Colorado)
Michael Bennet (D) 202-224-5852
Cory Gardner (R) 202-224-5941
Office of the Governor Helpline: 303-866-2885
Governor’s Office Front Desk: 303-866-2471
Colorado is represented by 35 Senators and 65 Representatives. Use this link to find your legislators according to your address.
To find information about government structure, click here.
Voting is an important way to make a difference and have your voice heard. Every registered voter in Colorado will receive a ballot in the mail, so it’s important to have up to date information on your voter registration. You can register to vote, update your voter registration, and even track your ballot through the Colorado Secretary of State website.
Policy Action Network
Jefferson Center has a Policy Action Network (PAN) which establishes and maintains positive relationships with elected officials and other decision makers to promote adequate resources and improve the lives of community members. Learn more about PAN and sign up to be an advocate here.
Coping with Coronavirus
Jefferson Center has put together several on-demand webinars to help you cope with COVID-19. Presentations include Healthy Ways to Deal with Stress, Coping with Grief and Loss, How to Stay Connected, and more. You can watch these videos any time by visiting the Classes and Events page here. For more information about COVID-19 and to find testing locations, visit the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment website.
If you’re in an immediate crisis and need help now, call Jefferson Center at 303-425-0300 or the Colorado Crisis Services line at 1-844-493-8255. You can also visit Jefferson Center’s 24/7 crisis walk-in center at 4643 Wadsworth Blvd, Wheat Ridge, CO 80033.