Responding to the recent national election

The recent national election has been particularly impactful leading to a range of reactions including sadness, anger, and fear as well as excitement, pride, and relief. The UIC Counseling Center staff wants those in our student community who have found recent election results in the U.S. unexpectedly difficult, anxiety-provoking, or threatening to know that we are here for you, for your healing, and for your resilience. You may find yourself struggling with the personal impact of the election, the tone of the national discussions, or if you are experiencing negative treatment, threats or more subtle forms of oppression because of your race or ethnicity, sexual orientation, gender identity, religious affiliation, country of origin or other aspect of your identity, please consider the Counseling Center as a safe space. You may find yourself within a circle of friends or classmates who do not share the same reactions as you. These interactions may evoke strong emotions and questions and may intensify your reactions. We are available to help you in processing your reactions and feelings. The Counseling Center is also participating in opportunities on campus to provide supportive listening and empathy for our students to come together.

The Counseling Center offers its services in accord with the ethical guidelines of the American Psychological Association whose leadership recently provided the following message to its membership:

"Now is a time to unite -- to work for what each of us believes to be good and true, and to provide hope to our diverse communities that we can, in many cases, find common ground. As our social psychology tells us, we must listen not only to those who agree with us but also to those who do not, and we need to work to understand each other more fully. It is a time for all of us to clarify what we stand for, to stay true to our values, and model civility and hope for the future. We must recommit ourselves to promoting health and well-being for all our people, most especially during this time of stress and concern. Now is a time for compassion and healing, a time to promote our inherent resilience."

The UIC Counseling Center is committed to doing so.

Additional tips and resources that may be helpful if you're feeling overwhelmed by the recent election:

  • Acknowledge your feelings: check your emotional state before you engage in conversations. Are you in a space to dialogue?
  • Focus on tasks or events that are in your control
  • Connect with friends, family, a community, or safe space to ground and support you
  • Focus on the present and shift away from the future focus
  • Monitor your media useā€“check your reactions before and after taking in the information; set time limits
  • Opt out of unproductive conversations. Pay attention to whether the discussion is going to benefit anyone or just increase stress levels.
  • Take care of basic needs such as eating, sleeping, drinking water, playing, and laughing. Incorporate activities that recharge you and relax you every day
  • Volunteer for an organization or cause that supports your values and interests

See also:
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/if-youre-overwhelmed-by-the-election-heres-what-you-can-do-now_us_5822c7d0e4b0e80b02cdf133