Happy Election Day, readers. You’ve made it 596 days since Ted Cruz got this thing rolling. Now, we are mere hours away (hopefully) from a conclusion. We know it has been a stressful, anxiety-inducing campaign. Maybe you’ve lost friends, fought with loved ones, checked job listings in Canada. If you went to a social gathering and someone didn’t say, “This crazy election, huh?” it was a small victory.
These last few hours, this final push, are going to be the most nerve-racking yet. But there are ways to at least abate the tension. Here are a list of six ways you can make these final hours more tolerable.
1. Watch red pandas at play
The San Francisco Zoo will live stream on its Facebook page three red pandas, Tenzing, Hillary, and Hunter (yes, one is named Hillary), and for one hour starting at 1 p.m. Eastern time you can be distracted by their adorableness. (h/t SFGate)
2. Do these simple stretches
In the Luxe Sunset Boulevard Hotel in Los Angeles, which hosts two polling places, its on-site yoga instructor, Rachel Jackson, will be providing voters with 10-minute yoga and meditation sessions. For the rest of us, Jackson put together these tips:
- Breathe. Breathing is the most underrated and easiest de-stressing tool, especially when you need clarity in your mind to make thoughtful decisions. Take a deep breath. Breathe in through your nose and then open your mouth, relax your jaw and exhale through your mouth. Do that three times. Notice how the deeper breath becomes easier. Now, breathe in and out through your nose. Keep your focus on your breath. Then, to yourself, count the duration of your inhale and then exhale for the same count. Repeat three times or longer if you like and notice the shift. Feel ready to get in the booth and vote.
- When we are stressed, the energy in our body gets stuck. Often we grip muscles and lift the energy away from the ground, i.e., shoulders up by our ears. To counter this, get on the floor. Take a child’s pose. Take three rounds of breath and then move into three rounds of cat-cow. Return to child’s pose for three breaths and notice the shift.
- Many of us carry tension in our shoulders from everything we do: Instagram, texting, driving, etc. Especially if you are waiting in line to vote and getting annoying or stressed, a really simple posture is clasping your hands behind your back, opening your heart, breathing deeply and remembering that we are so fortunate in this country to be able to vote and voice our opinions.
3. Eat all the doughnuts (or whatever free food is offered on this day in your area)
Many area businesses offer Election Day specials that may include free food or drinks. For instance, at Krispy Kreme, showing your “I Voted” sticker gets you a free doughnut. At California Tortilla, simply saying, “Make queso great again,” “I’m with queso,” or “I vote for queso,” gets a patron free chips and queso.
4. Get your sweat on for free
Everyone knows that exercise makes us feel better. (Then why is it so hard, you ask? Evolution.) Study after study shows that working out doesn’t only improve our physical health, but is also an incredibly effective stress-reliever and mood-upper. And on Election Day, Gold’s Gyms are letting anyone with an “I Voted” sticker use its facilities for free.
5. Re-watch Kate McKinnon/Larry David/Alec Baldwin SNL political skits
Yes, it will be a reminder of the absurdity that has been 2016, but it can also provide some much-needed levity. And if nothing else came of this otherwise pretty awful presidential election, we can always be thankful it inspired these performances. All 43 of them are compiled here.
6. Read The FREE Washington Post
It’s going to be hard to completely avoid election talk today, so you might as well stay informed. The Washington Post has taken down its paywall to give everyone access to its political coverage. While you’re there, if you’re looking for stories to make you feel better about humanity or that give you a different perspective on how we live, may we suggest reading Inspired Life.
Here, we’ll get you started:
This Republican mayor has an incredibly simple idea to help the homeless. And it seems to be working.
Want more inspiring news and help to improve your life? Sign up for the Saturday Inspired Life newsletter.