I thought that once the election was over things would go back to normal. Now I find myself overwhelmed and fixated on what’s happening in D.C. and it’s affecting every part of my life, especially work. Any suggestions? L.M., New York, NY
Obsessing over the direction of the country or the actions (or inactions) of our national leaders can leave anyone feeling overwhelmed. We usually react to being overwhelmed by becoming frantically busy, by procrastinating, or by inefficiency—all of which work against delivering great work, as you undoubtedly know. Self-care is especially important now to help you regain your perspective.
From a practical standpoint, put limits on your exposure to the news. You aren’t going to miss anything if don’t check to see what’s happening every minute. Change your settings on your phone so that you’re not getting constant updates. Don’t watch news programs immediately before you go to sleep. It can be upsetting and can definitely affect your dreams, your sleep, and your moods. You don’t want to start the day upset.
Reconnect to things that make you happy. An easy way to do this is to remember a time when you were really happy in your life and play a song that you associate with it. You will be immediately transported and will have all the positive feelings associated with that time.
Give yourself other things to think about. Go to a movie, read a book, play sports, see your friends. If your friends are into politics, request a politics-free zone. Expand your horizons to help yourself put politics in perspective.