Tips for navigating the 2020 election with resilience
By Caleigh McDaniel, firstname.lastname@example.org
Many students at UofSC have voted and will be voting in a presidential election for the first time this year. Now is the time for students to have their voices heard, but with the COVID-19 pandemic and a polarizing political climate, this election season can bring further safety concerns and additional stress to students' lives.
The following tips were compiled by a team from Student Health Services, the Leadership and Service Center, the Office of Multicultural Student Affairs and University Housing to help students navigate the upcoming election with resilience. Here are some steps to take from now until after Election Day.
- Know who and what is on the ballot in the area you are registered. This can be found on Vote 411's website.
- Complete the early voting process if that is how you plan to vote. Learn how at How to Vote's website.
- Begin developing a strategy on how you will cope with different possible election results .
- Monitor or limit your news and social media content consumption.
- Think carefully before responding to someone’s post.
- When consuming information, make sure to fact check what you are reading. Some fact-checking resources include: ProCon.org, The Skimm, FactCheck.org and PolitiFact.
- Vote if you haven't already. Learn how at How to Vote's website.
- Remember to stay aware of physical distancing signs and keep your face covering on.
- Use hand sanitizer before and after casting your ballot.
- Perhaps get your favorite coffee, tea or snack after voting.
- If it feels nurturing to you, post a picture of you with your “I voted” sticker.
- Schedule a stress-reducing activity such as taking a mindful walk, listen to your favorite playlist and/or re-read your favorite book.
- Stay connected with people who care about you.
- Try to get to sleep at a reasonable time, so you are not running at a deficit .
- Don’t expect results to be announced that night .
- Practice self-compassion. Remember you are not alone in how you are feeling. Reach out to someone you trust to talk.
- It may seem difficult, but reflect on what you are grateful for. Gratitude can help us feel energized and bind us to others.
- Take advantage of the many UofSC emotional wellbeing resources and mental health resources if you need outlets to help manage your emotions and stress related to the results or the unknown.
- Be patient. It could take longer than normal for results to come in.
- Remember our election system is resilient and strong, and we have successfully held elections during many challenging periods in our history.
- Remember ways that you can live out your values post-election. Make plans to continue to support the causes you care most about by joining a student organization or volunteering in the community for causes that are aligned with your values.
- Reflect on examples of resilience within your culture and heritage.
- Only read and share information from credible sources about election results.
- Attend campus programs designed to help you de-stress and explore how the work continues after the election. The full list of events will be posted by Oct. 30.
For more tips and information about civic engagement at UofSC, visit the Leadership and Service Center website.
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