Make a Plan for the Night After the Election
We do not know what exactly election night will bring, but it is unlikely that it will be the same simple process that brought us accurate (albeit unofficial) results until midnight (almost) in every second election cycle. And even if everything goes smoothly, the night is likely to be stressful and stressful for many of us. So let’s get down to planning.
Be the first to live the day
Before we get to election night, we need to get through the day. You may be at work, or find time to vote, or volunteer to vote. If so: let it distract you. Focus on the task that needs to be completed.
If you have a long empty day ahead, make some plans now to give this time some structure. Exercise, meditation, volunteering, and productive activities such as errands or even handicrafts can help you expend nervous energy while you wait.
If you need to vote, be sure to schedule that too. Double check your registration status and the laws of your state. Decide when you do it and how you get to the polls. Prepare information on what to do if you are refused ; in many cases you can fill out a preliminary newsletter.
Consciously Consider Your Thinking
While you are doing all of this, you may be tempted to prepare for the worst. But cautious optimism can be helpful , experts say. Thus, you will reap the psychological benefits of allowing yourself to hope for the best. Explain this to your pessimistic side: if the worst happens anyway, why not enjoy these positive emotions while you still can?
It also helps to think through possible scenarios. If Trump wins, what will you do? How can you mentally plan this? What if Biden wins? What if elections are too close to be called, or are legally contested for weeks or months in a row? How will you mentally relive this time? Thinking about the best and worst outcomes can help us feel grounded and prepared, no matter what happens.
Understand the possibilities
With a record number of votes cast in the mail, the tallying process becomes a little more complicated. Absentee votes usually account for only a small percentage of the results, and by the end of election night it is clear who will win, regardless of the mail-order count. This may not be a win-win bet this year.
Likewise, television networks and newspapers can usually get good information from exit polls , which are conducted simply by asking people leaving the polls who they voted for. But if there is a political split – for example, if Democrats are more likely to vote by mail – these polls will become less reliable.
While this all suggests that conventional reporting methods are less reliable than in the past, the media may try to turn things around in the opposite direction – for example, try to predict what will happen based on the number of votes cast. was thrown early. In truth, we have never had such choices, so no one knows how early predictions will relate to the bottom line. Keeping all of this in mind, it will help you understand how insecure you may be when watching or reading about voices as they come in.
It is also important to take a step back and remember that observing the tally on election night is a media event; it is not part of the democratic process. In most states, election results are verified only after a few weeks , usually in late November or early December.
Reduce stress or at least try
If you are concerned about the election results, it will not and cannot be your usual Tuesday night. Plan how you will remain calm, but also set some boundaries in case your feelings get out of hand.
One of the things that can help the most is knowing who you can talk to. Who do you like to sympathize with or celebrate with and are they the same people, or does it depend on how you feel? If your spouse or roommates don’t think about elections the same way you do, it may be worth considering meeting someone else, in person or virtually. If you find your support on social media, consider messaging with individual friends instead of spending the entire evening scrolling on the homepage.
Set yourself up to take care of yourself, whatever that means to you, but be smart about it: if you think an evening might go better with a drink or two, or if weed is how you deal with stress, get involved responsibly. … If you haven’t gotten to work on potentially stressful nights yet, can I suggest preparing and then taking a carefully optimized bath ?
Give yourself a fucking thing before bed
Waking up on Wednesday morning will experience everything that Wednesday morning can bring. Maybe at night someone will make a condescending speech. Or, perhaps, millions of votes will remain to be counted, and the elections will not be announced. Also likelihood: there is an alleged winner, but candidates and states are gearing up for an epic legal battle over the legitimacy of some votes.
This situation, whatever it may be, will await you in the morning, no matter how late you go to bed on Tuesday night. Decide for yourself how much rubbish you want to put up and mark it with a number.
Perhaps you want to experience the chaos of election night because you enjoy dramas and disasters and want to see how people react on social media. If you get up before midnight, will you get a reasonable amount of sleep? If you stay awake until 2 a.m. and the news is bad, do you feel like the time is well spent? Decide now what the latest news will be for you to stay awake. It’s important that you trust your not-too-too-much-like brain to make this decision, because your 2-hour brain is incapable of knowing when to quit.
Or maybe you love yourself and want to be as happy as possible under the circumstances. It will go out at 22:00. All fresh horrors will still be for you in the morning.
Right before bed
At the very least, you need to turn off notifications. If you ignore all of my advice, the absolute minimum you should do is set your phone to Do Not Disturb at whatever wicked hour you finally return.
But you have time to plan everything. If the app allows you to turn off notifications at certain times, such as Slack, make sure you set them correctly. (If you use Slack for work, you’ll probably still should disable sound notifications during off-hours .) Similarly, you can set your phone so that it goes into “Do Not Disturb” mode every night, and your closest friends and family members will be added to the whitelist in case of emergency. Go back to your settings now.
In particular, think about what your phone might look like when you wake up. Do you want to see all nightly news alerts or is it better to turn them off? Or maybe you want to turn off everything except news alerts for one or two editions. If you’re afraid of the worst, you can even prepare yourself for a quiet morning routine, including breakfast, before picking up your phone and finding out. You have no control over what happens on election night, but you can decide how much it might disrupt your time.