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3 Tips to Staying Balanced During Election Season
This election season has been beyond challenging for most everyone. The negativity surrounding the political campaigns is rampant. And, unfortunately, there doesn’t seem to be a politics-free zone.
Of course, the reason for that fact is simple: the issues discussed by the presidential candidates stretch far beyond that of economics and medical care. More to the point, some of them hit home and strike a personal chord with entire populations and individuals.
The latter fact leads to numerous reactions within the recovery community. Two sides typically presented are those who are personally and quite negatively impacted and those who feel their emotional safety has become threatened by the mere mention of anything political. Both are very real experiences, and both are potential setups for relapse.
For that reason, it is important to take steps to prevent relapse during this election season.
1. Accept the world around you.
The first and possibly most important step to take is to realize that recovery is not a safe haven from reality. In other words, being in recovery is not about avoiding pain or politics or the seemingly rare but currently occurring combination of both. Additionally, being connected to a recovery community is not about attempting to mold said community to accommodate personal issues. Rather, recovery is about learning to accept the world around us which we generally cannot change and work to, instead, change ourselves.
2. Face and resolve the conflict within.
Often, the reason it is difficult for us to witness conflict around us is because we already experience and seek to avoid an overwhelming amount of conflict within. However, the path to inner peace does not begin with isolation from anything less than peaceful. Instead, it is a journey which begins with the words of the Serenity Prayer, requesting acceptance of that which we cannot change, courage to change the things we can and the wisdom to know the difference. The conflict within is the only thing we can change, and as such, we must courageously face and seek to resolve it.
3. Seek the aid of a helping professional.
When the issues being discussed in this election season trigger us emotionally, we need to pay attention to what is surfacing. Rather than becoming angry with the trigger, it is vital to successful recovery to see, instead, an opportunity to face unresolved issues, heal from past traumas and further our personal journey of growth, recovery and empowerment.
It’s not always as simple as 1-2-3, but the aforementioned steps do provide important reminders and actions toward preventing relapse. However, each individual is unique, and thus it is important to remember that recovery is not only a personal experience—it is a personal responsibility. In other words, when it comes to preventing relapse in any given set of circumstances, self-awareness and plugging in with recovering individuals or communities who provide personal accountability are always key.
Toshia Humphries is a Texan freelance writer, artist, life coach and talk radio co-host of Girl Power Hour on Blog Talk Radio. She has been writing for two decades and possesses three degrees in counseling and psychology with a focus on addictions and women’s studies. She is also the creator of Threads Locks & Rock—a performance art show which utilizes personal experiences and stories to inspire each show and its performers, healing and empowering them and audience members alike. Much of her work is fueled by her own life experience and education.