Looking after your mental health following the recent election result
Updated: Mar 4, 2021
Many people woke up on the morning of Friday 13th of December 2019 to find their hopes for a better and progressive Britain destroyed. The vitriol and hate that surrounded the recent election has unsurprisingly left a lot of members of marginalised groups feeling unsafe and increasingly uncertain about their future in the UK.
In March 2019, the Mental Health Foundation warned that the mental well-being of the black, Asian and ethnic minority population ‘might seriously be undermined’as a result of increased racism and xenophobia caused by divisive politics.
It’s difficult to hold onto hope during these times and even more, maintaining your mental robustness amidst all of the post-election furore. While self-care is peddled as a way of combating our wellbeing, switching off from the current news or masking our hyper-visible identities is a privilege that vulnerable and minority groups in society don’t have.
We know that no amount of reassurance can eradicate the societal malaise in following the election, but in times like this, it is important to find solidarity in our own communities and allies to help us weather the uncertain and turbulent times ahead.
We’ve written a short guide on some ways to cope if you are struggling:-
✅ Acknowledge that the mixed emotions and reactions your experiencing are normal and exist in the context of a very difficult and unsettling political climate. Embrace the emotions in their ebbs and flows and sit with the upset/anger/frustration. Give yourself permission to grieve.
✅ It easy to be drawn into the doom and gloom narrative which can easily breed catastrophic and ruminative thinking. Try to *avoid* or reduce time on social media If you can. If you do use it, follow pages or threads that align with your values or are steeped in good humanity.
✅ Spend time with your loved ones this weekend and check in on them. Collective grief and healing are possible in relation with others.
✅ Do something you love. Going for a walk, exercising, painting your nails, pick up that hobby you’ve been procrastinating on. Don’t let the result take control of what matters to you.
✅ The result may leave us feeling out of control. Make room for wisdom to accept the things you can’t change and the courage to change what you can. Little acts of kindness, living according to your values & appreciating others are still within your control.
It’s important to remember that you’re not struggling alone in all of this – and that you can seek professional help!
Support services For emotional support you can call the Samaritans 24-hour helpline on 116 123, email firstname.lastname@example.org, visit a Samaritans branch in person or go to the Samaritans website. https://www.samaritans.org/
Reporting hate crime Crimes committed against someone because of their disability, transgender-identity, race, religion or belief, or sexual orientation are hate crimes and should be reported to the police. You can report hate crime online or call 999 if you are reporting a crime that is in progress or someone is in danger. If it is non-urgent, you can call 101.
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