Running a startup is stressful, but this election has brought an entirely new level of stress and anxiety to Americans inside and outside the entrepreneurial world. According to the American Psychological Association, more than 50% of Americans cite the 2016 Election as a significant source of stress, and it all comes to a head on Election Day.
And while there's something to be said for grit and perseverance, stress can have dangerous cumulative effects on your mental and physical health, including reduced productivity--something no entrepreneur has time for.
Here are some quick and simple ways to reduce election anxiety and other stresses that may be keeping you from having a clear mind and a productive and happy day.
Connect with Nature
Time outdoors has been known to be grounding and calming, but many parts of the country are entering the cold winter months, making time outdoors less pleasant. Not to worry. The San Francisco Zoo announced, as BuzzFeed reported, it would live stream its Red Panda exhibit all Election Day in order to bring nature to you.
Embrace Your Inner Artist
The rise of adult coloring books has shown the calming power that an artistic break can have. If the thought of creating makes you anxious too, Huffington Post put together this list of calming Bob Ross clips, where you can relax to calming instructions and let someone else do the heavy lifting.
Let Meditation Tools Guide You
You can create your own calm with just a few minutes of mindfulness: focused attention and deep conscious breathing. New to meditation and not sure if you can? Tools like Calm, Headspace, and others can help you get the hand of it and guide you through your first breathing exercises.
Play a Game
Playing a calming, and somewhat mindless game, like Tetris, Candy Crush or 1010, can help slow down your train of thought and re-focus your mind. Need more suggestions? LifeHacker has a handy list of some minimal and calming online games.
Listen to This Song
Any calming music and sounds will do, if you already know that you respond well to ocean waves, rain noise or a particular artist's music. But there's actually a song, called "Weightless," that's proven to reduce stress by 65%, compared to the 35% average of other relaxing songs. Queue it up here and get your relaxation on.
Draw on Your Inner Strength
If your anxiety comes from a feeling of powerlessness, try adopting a Power Pose, which is scientifically proven to increase feelings of confidence in under 2 minutes. Put your hands on your hips, spread your feet wide, and extend your head high, and you'll be feeling in-control in just 120 seconds.