Election-Cycle-Stress There are simple, effective ways to center, detach, and find peace during this contentious contest.
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The relentless political free-for-all is enough to make anyone completely exhausted. But these folks have found ways to find their “happy place” in the midst of the chaos.

To quote every politician ever: “Let’s be honest.” This election cycle has not been “normal” by any stretch of the imagination. The best word, perhaps the only word, that’s fit to describe it is crazy. As in completely insane.

Everyone’s calling everyone else names or a liar and the incumbent not only casts doubts over the legitimacy of the election, but suggests that maybe, just maybe, if he happens to lose, he won’t leave office. Lawn signs supporting either candidate get vandalized or stolen, people get accosted in polling places for voting for the “wrong” name, Facebook is rife with angry rants, and families are sadly torn apart over party loyalties.

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This free-for-all is enough to make anyone thoroughly and completely exhausted. But there’s no need to look for the nearest sensory deprivation tank. These Floridians have found their own ways to detach and release tensions to find their “happy place” in the midst of the chaos.

From Vampire Novels to Cleaning Frenzies

“I have dedicated myself to cleaning, organizing, house painting, shredding, and filing,” says Elena Dieppa, a retired homemaker from Miami-Dade. “In the evenings I thank God for Netflix, Amazon, and cable TV.”

Elena’s husband, Eddie Dieppa, says he’s surprised he hasn’t been thrown out of the house in one of his wife’s “cleaning frenzies.” Dieppa has found refuge from the political assault in books: “Largo pétalo de mar,” by Isabel Allende, and “The Splendid and the Vile,” a biography of Winston Churchill, are two current favorites. However, he admits he’s not above some “mind-rot video games.”

Patty López Calleja’s family hails from Spain, so it’s not surprising that this wife, mother, and executive at a national fast food franchise likes to relax with “a glass of wine as I read the latest vampire novel.”

RELATED: An Expert’s Tips on Parenting During This Election—and Its Aftermath

Sylvia Vera León, an elementary school teacher in Little Havana, admits that this election cycle has revved up her levels of anxiety. However, spending time playing with her grandchild relaxes her, and reading an inspirational book, “The Monk on Death Row,” “helped me to change my perspective and face each day with more equanimity.”

Venezuelan American Alex Rincones, a freelance copywriter, soothes her anxiety with online meditation and relaxation videos that help her enjoy a full night’s sleep. But during her waking hours, her go-to remedy for fast emotional relief is “connecting virtually with my wonderful, faithful, hilarious friends!”

Vivian Santos, an advertising CEO from Kendall, enjoys a happy hour with friends and family on video chats or in person, always while practicing responsible social distancing. “I also keep informed, but limit media consumption on weekends, and every day I remind myself that ‘this, too, shall pass.’”

Just Breathe

So while Americans wait with bated breath for this, too, to (finally!) pass, vampire novels, escapist video games, virtual visits and—yes!—a sip of wine, can definitely help ease election-induced anxiety. At least until Nov. 3.