If the election results have you jumping out of your skin, you are not alone. Trying to imagine what the next four years will look like is enough to have your stomach churning with anxiety.
But hiding under the covers won’t change the results (ugh). And since there are still plenty of crucial issues to fight for, succumbing to the stress and anxiety just doesn’t seem like an option. There are plenty of ways to return your nerves to a state of calm before the election turnout ruins your entire week (or month…or year).
So whether you still haven’t left your apartment or are having a midday freak-out at your desk, we’ve gathered our best anxiety-fighting tips so that you can breathe a little bit easier, and get back to being a #nastywoman.
Keep reading for 10 brilliant hacks to beat post-election anxiety.
1. Take a whiff of a soothing aromatherapy blend
It’s no coincidence how aromatherapy got its name—the blends of oils and extracts have seriously therapeutic powers. “When you smell something, the scent molecules are actually linking directly to the brain tissue in your nose,” explains Amy Galper, founder and director of the New York Institute of Aromatherapy. So if you sniff something calming, like sweet orange or ylang ylang, your brain may get a halt order on production of the chemicals that cause negative emotions. Keep a bottle of an aromatherapeutic blend in your bag, and if panic strikes, closing your eyes, inhaling the soothing scent, and taking a few deep breaths can make a world of a difference.
2. Sip on an adaptogenic tonic
Taking small, slow sips of a hot beverage sounds calming in and of itself, but add adaptogens, and you’ll be giving your body even more stress-fighting stamina. Holistic guru Lacy Phillips recommends making a reishi tonic when freak-outs are looming on the horizon. “I lean on reishi to ground me, combat stress, and gently cleanse the liver,” Phillips explains. Whether it’s a large family gathering with that cousin who likes to ask really personal questions or a pile-up of high-pressure deadlines, the stress-reducing tonic will have calming effects for your body and mind.
3. Jump on a trampoline
No, we’re not joking! The carefree movement that’s reminiscent of childhood helps the body to flush out tension. “Rebounding on a mini trampoline makes you feel more childlike, helps you bust through blocks and greatly supports your lymphatic system,” explains self-help expert Gabrielle Bernstein on her favorite anxiety-reducing trick. “Simple up‐and‐down movements can help you release mental, physical, and emotional blocks in record time.” No trampoline? No problem. Jumping rope or having a solo dance party will work just as well for clearing your body of tension.
4. Take a bath
If you haven’t gotten in the tub since you were a kid, you’re missing out. Taking a bath is the perfect way to hit pause—especially if your mind is on the express train to the world is ending! Whether you’re soaking at the end of a long day or in order to get yourself out the door in the morning, the time in the warm water provides a moment to slow down and ground your thoughts in reality. Need an extra boost of calm? Bath salts create a detoxing oasis from the world that exists outside the tub.
5. Reach for L-theanine
The powerful amino acid instills feelings of calm in just 30 minutes, which comes in handy if anxiety hits at work or while you’re on your way to a dinner party or important meeting. But instead of taking a drug, you’re really just taking a vitamin. “It’s not one of those things where you sit around for a week wondering if it’s working—it takes the edge off of any type of stress you might be feeling in the moment,” naturopathic doctor Taryn Forrelli says, underlining the amino acid’s benefits. Another feather in L-theanine’s cap? Well+Good Wellness Council member Frank Lipman, MD, is a huge proponent, because “it has the ability to calm the body without compromising mental clarity,” he explains. This is something that deserves a permanent spot in your purse.
6. Practice simple breathing techniques
A few deep breaths can go a long way in calming your mind and body down. But if you need something a bit more powerful than three inhale/exhale combos, a simple breathing technique can help to reground you and boost your mood. “You can change how you feel, simply by changing the pattern of your breath,” personal development expert Mona Shah Joshi points out. Her go-to technique, Sudarshan Kriya (SKY), tackles extreme levels of stress while also altering mood. And while these breathing techniques may not be the most discrete (we don’t blame you if you don’t want to do them at your desk), taking a quick “bathroom break” to do some alternate-nostril breathing will come in handy on anxiety-producing days.
7. Escape to a calming oasis
When panic hits, a change of environment can do some serious good—especially when it consists of floating in a tank of warm water and Epsom salts or taking deep breaths in a salt room. Some treatments have major mental health benefits too. Spending time in an infrared sauna can mimic the benefits of an antidepressant, while the binaural beats of a sonodome can reduce levels of anxiety. They sound luxurious, yes, but they are also your a panic-attack fighting sidekick if a day seems unbearable.
8. Throw some punches
Working out your anger in a boxing ring is definitely the best way to let it all out, Tears for Fears style. And slamming your fists into a boxing bag can be like a sweaty, aggressive mood-lifter. “Boxing affects you mentally and gives you a little extra confidence to go about life with a different perspective,” says Milan Costich, founder of Prevail boxing gym in Los Angeles. “When you do a workout you didn’t think you could do, you start to realize maybe there are other things you can do that people had put a limit on.”
9. Take a cannabis supplement
Cannabis is famous for having, um, mellowing effects, but combining its natural cannabinoids with terpene molecules can create medicinal-like supplements. Additions of terpenes from grapefruit and lavender make for a supplement that is a fast-acting soother for high levels of stress and anxiety. When deep breaths and aromatherapy don’t do the trick, cannabis is a stronger (and likely quicker) path to calm.
10. Use a mantra
When your thoughts are frantic and freaking out, a grounding mantra brings the mind a bit more peace. “In the moments when I feel myself getting tangled up in the stress of the day, I’m drawn back to the mantra: slowly, wisely,” shares Love Yoga instructor Chelsea Levy. Find a phrase that resonates with you and return to it when you feel yourself entering a spiral. The repetition of the mantra—either out loud or in writing—shifts your mind from what’s causing it to panic to something more positive and caring. The words serve as a reminder that you will get through whatever is making you anxious and uncomfortable.
Anxiety takes a major toll on your mind and body—self love can be majorly therapeutic. And if you’re struggling, don’t be afraid to ask for help. Your mental health is seriously important, and deserves attention and care.