How To Prepare For What Happens Next

“Since the election is not going to be decided on Tuesday, I’m not planning to stay up all night for a result and instead am making sure to get plenty of rest,” Xochitl Oseguera, vice president of MamásConPoder, tells mbg. “Stay sane by keeping your life as usual.”

Planning ahead can only take you so far—at some point, we do just need to wait and see what happens. When you have more information about what’s going to happen, you’ll be able to take the actions you need to take according to your aforementioned plan. Until then, give yourself permission to periodically unplug, get outside, and find bits of peace and solace. 

Even in the face of real adversity, cognitive neuroscientist Caroline Leaf, Ph.D., tells mbg that temporary distractions (emphasis on the word temporary) can help us manage our emotions and keep destructive worry at bay.

“You don’t have to feel guilt or shame when you think anxious thoughts,” Leaf tells mbg. “In fact, you need to allow room for negative thoughts in your life, as they can help prepare you for worst-case scenarios, deal with the past, and keep you grounded. However, these negative thoughts need to be balanced with the good so that they don’t become the dominant structure in your brain.”

(Here are a few more practical ways to manage worry from Leaf.)

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