Self-Care and Restorative Practices for Election Day

Depression and Anxiety, High-Achieving Black Women, Trauma Recovery for High-Achievers

Today is a day unlike any other for 2020. This remaining week will likely feel like a year unto itself. Yet, today is Election Day, and the uncertainties, anxieties, and stress of an unknown outcome that will greatly effect and shape how we move forward can generate a variety of sensations, emotions, and thoughts from moment to moment. So, let us remember to especially take good care of ourselves today and thereafter. 

Below are 12 Self-Care and Restorative Practices that helps us stay present to whatever life may presents us with. Since, we are more likely to effect change in a body where there is cultivated care, safety, and ease than when consumed by anxieties that prompt us into overdrive.

Please remember that you do not have to be stressed out to care. You do not have to be hyper-productive to effect change.  All of the problems in our country and in the world are way too much for you to hold on your own. Give yourself permission to find ease, continual support, and safety.  This might be a good time to check-in with a Therapist if you haven’t already. May the practices support you along day-to-day practice of prioritizing your wellness. 

  1. Choose a grounding exercise before getting started with your day (i.e. journal prompt; prayer; meditation; any form of movement; sound-baths; emotion-focused tapping; reflection of an inspirational quote; or deciding on an intent for how you’d like to show up in the day. 
  2. Identify three small acts that would bring about a bit of certainty in a day filled with lots of uncertainty (i.e. stretching to give more ease to your body; taking in some silence before allowing yourself to consume content from various platforms; voting if you haven’t already; deciding that today is the not the day to skip any meals, hydration, or outdoor sunlight). 
  3. Choose a phrase or word that when your thoughts start to drift or you experience overwhelm, it can call you back home into the ease and safety of your own body. For example, the phrase “Take what you need” or “Observe without ingesting” can be reminders of our self-care needs and boundaries. Instead of bypassing our emotions through focus on hyper-productivity or attempts to be overly helpful to others, we hold on to the reality that we are the ones in need of care and nurturance today. Let us give ourselves that. 
  4. Allow yourself the right to hold the complexities of your emotions without considering them or yourself a contradiction. There can be uncertainty, anxiety, AND hope. Underneath uncertainty, there is always hope unsure if it has permission to reveal itself. Instead of suppressing hope for fear of becoming disappointed later, FIND it and hold on to it. Hope belongs to you not an outcome.
  5. Healthy Distraction: Give yourself at least two healthy distractions (i.e. watching a favorite show, listening to a  podcast, reading a book, recalling a favorite memory; writing a letter to your future self who will have more insight a year from now; engage in an art activity, do cart wheels; etc.). 
  6. Detox the body’s consumption of info, held thoughts, and feelings by stretching, dancing, allowing yourself some ‘herbal tea and chill’ time for at least 30 minutes. No electronics. Part of detoxification is identifying how much you are holding is based on projection and how much is based on intuitive knowing. Projection painfully tries to fill in the gaps where there is uncertainty, and intuitive knowing is subtle and at ease.  
  7. Remember that your capacity might be different in terms of what you can give or create space for today, which does not invalidate the reality of your enough-ness, and has everything  to do with your willingness to adjust.  The energy you exert today does not have to be equal across different domains of your life. Focus more on harmony than balance. If you’re working with 65 percent of energy today, how would like to honor that 65 percent (i.e. allotting 20 percent to healthy  distractions; etc.)?
  8. Identify two sources to access for unconditional love and support and use as wanted and needed. What kind of qualities could you find in these sources that you imagine being surged in you ? 
  9. Listen to yourself, your inner voice, your intuition, and knowing. Pause, stop, move, stand, sit, etc., so as long as you’re actively listening to yourself (not anxiety or fear).
  1. Practice returning throughout the day what’s not yours so that there can be more room and capacity for what is yours (i.e. leaving your loved ones’ anxieties with them and checking in to see if there is anything you haven’t yet given yourself that you suspect that you need, such as decreasing frequency of calls answered). 
  2. Remind yourself that the purpose of rest is not to do more work later. It’s to allow the process of rest to bring.

12. Whether the results of the election bring you ease or more grief, remember none of these experiences have to be held alone. In lightness and heaviness, we have needs that are never meant to carried on our own. Keep your eyes open for community support and 1:1 support. You are rooted in care and love, should you allow yourself to be. 

Once again, take good care all.



Carmelle Ellison, LCSW

I help high-achieving adults, especially in the BIPOC community live authentically wholesome lives via telehealth therapy throughout California.


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