I hate elections. I really do.
I get really emotionally invested in the political process here in the United States. This doesn’t sound like a bad thing at first. After all, the whole point of democracy is that people get to participate in running the country. Theoretically, being invested in politics is a good thing. And it can be! When people are excited about politics, great things can happen. Real change can be achieved.
But when I get engaged in politics, I tend to get angry. I get angry at politicians I don’t like. I get angry with the people who support them. I get angry at laws that happen three states away that technically don’t effect me, nor anyone I know. I get angry at hypothetical wars and imaginary injustices. And I get really, really angry at poll numbers I don’t like.
Then, when I’m done being angry, I just get stressed out. I worry about the politicians I like losing. I worry about the politicians I don’t like winning. I worry about what might happen in a country where someone I particularly dislike, like, say, a certain orange-faced billionaire, became the president. The thing is, I am prone to bouts of depression and anxiety. Politics tends to exacerbate these things for me.
Usually, I can brush this off and go about my daily life, knowing that outside of voting, there’s not that much I can realistically do. I have a full-time job to think about and student loans to pay off. Politics can wait until election day.
Except, in an election year, it really can’t. The long stretch of debates and primary elections means that politics is on all the airwaves constantly. It dominates my Facebook feed. It conquers my twitter feed. It’s on every newspaper, magazine, TV show and blog. It’s practically in the air we breathe.
It can be hard to find a place to take a break from politics in an election year, so I’m going to carve one out for myself. I’m going to try my damnedest each day to find an hour to put aside all the politics and news and just relax and enjoy a book, or maybe get some writing done. I’m setting aside a daily “Screw politics” hour so that I can keep my sanity. If nothing else, let that be the one thing that politics can never take away from me.