Mental Health and Politics in the Age of COVID

During COVID-19, I have taken time to try to declutter my thoughts and bad feelings and to minimize stress as much as possible with meditation and self-healing. I’ve been focusing on positive thoughts and making room for creativity. However, being stuck in the middle of a pandemic can bring on lots of fear and worry about our future.  

Now take this situation and put it in the middle of an election year, and the stress intensifies. I find myself constantly trying to cope with discussions about politics and getting swept into conversations because I’m passionate about the subject. But I also dwell on the consequences of not getting my facts straight and voting for the wrong person. The wrong person in office not only will affect me and my personal decisions but will also affect every single American and what the future holds for us during and after COVID. It’s a tough burden to bear for everyone.  

This situation reminds me how deeply rooted politics is in our brain, especially during an election year. How am I supposed to stay positive and away from negative thoughts and still take a political stand when I need to? Where is the line drawn, and how do I stay above it without getting sucked into the controversy? I won’t bury my head in the sand, but I don’t want to draw up any drama that may cause a fight or negative energy. If I am trying to dismantle bad habits and baggage from my upbringing, while at the same time stay away from the drama that politics causes (as my parents and I don’t see eye to eye on the political spectrum), then how do I embrace my parents for who they are and yet still be true to myself?  

This is a tough one. I have friends that feel the opposite from me when it comes to politics, but they aren’t nearly as evasive and determined to change my mind as are my parents. With these friends, I can remain calm and positive and not feel defensive. But when I’m around my parents, I always have my guard up as they try to impose on my beliefs and values.  

I’m reminded of Deepak Chopra’s Abundance Meditation when he suggests that, “In every situation, we have new opportunities to find creative ways to solve our problems, redefine our priorities and explore other options. We begin to view challenges more positively, when we realize that we possess the power to focus our attention on new opportunities and possibilities for abundance are endless. There are no limits to what we can have. Take the time to look at each situation that challenges you and find those seeds of success that will attract greater abundance into your life.”  

So how do I keep my mind decluttered from all the negative spins and attacks on who I want as the next President of the United States while still focusing on the positive and keeping my sanity? I can choose to look at each situation that challenges me, find a way to lighten my load, and remember that I cannot change people’s minds. Instead, I can walk away from the discussions and focus my attention back onto my creativity instead.  

My time is precious and my focus is on the creative use of energy. The only way to stay creative is to declutter my mind from anything that isn’t serving me. I will be doing a lot more writing over the next few months and most likely sharing my thoughts without trying to sway political opinion.  

I am a truth seeker, and as such, I do realize that not everything I hear on television or everything I read is true. I take it for what it is and sort it out by actions and what my eyes see. As Chopra suggests, I will use challenges as an opportunity for creative growth. My mental health with thank me.  

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