Plentiful distractions to keep your mind off the election from now until ... whenever
Hello from the depths of uncertainty, my friends. Most of us are swimming in anxiety this week, overwhelmed with worry that Tuesday’s election won’t go smoothly. Or flooded with P.T.S.D. from the topsy-turvy outcome of four years ago. Or otherwise sick-and-tired of thinking about politics 24/7 out of necessity. My guts are in a knot already.
One thing all the pundits have been preaching is patience, both to stave off our heightened collective anxiety and stay calm while we wait for election officials to count all our ballots. It won’t make any of this go any faster if you spend the day and night scrolling social media endlessly or glued to the TV anxiously awaiting some indication of who’ll be the next president. When there’s real, actual news about the election, you’ll know it.
One thing’s for certain: we’re going to need distractions to keep our minds occupied in this supremely anxiety-inducing time! In the spirit of service journalism, it is my duty to compile a list of wonderful diversions that’ll do just that: keep you laughing and feeling uplifted as we collectively move through this week.
It’s time to rip off the electoral band-aid, America. So — after you’ve cast your own vote and maybe spent time helping ensure your neighbors’ ballots are counted, too — park it on the couch, light up the bowl (if that’s your thing), and don’t think about the election anymore. Here are my best suggestions for accomplishing just that:
Sweat to Yoga with Adriene
One thing I’ve been diligent about doing every day is making sure I move my body. My favorite way to do that is with yoga — the combo of exercise and mental centering works for me. And my digital teacher of choice for at-home practice is Adriene Mishler, of Yoga with Adriene fame. She’s goofy and entertaining, plus she’s a darn-good teacher, meaning she makes yoga extremely accessible to people of all skill levels.
Watch the opening dance sequence from Gaspar Noé’s Climax
Speaking of moving your bod, dancing around your home can be a surprisingly effective mode of exercise and catharsis. For inspiration, may I recommend this incredible extended dance sequence from the beginning of Gaspar Noé’s film Climax, about a dancer’s retreat gone horribly wrong? Maybe don’t watch the whole film this week, it is somewhat anxiety inducing. But the opening scene is scored by Cerrone’s “Supernature.” And if the disco-rave vibes of this song are your thing, try queueing up the Spotify radio playlist inspired by the song for an extended dance party.
Watch The Last Days of Disco
Let's keep this extended nostalgic dance party going, shall we? Treat yourself to this little gem of a 1990s indie flick, starring Chloë Sevigny and Kate Beckinsale as frequent patrons of a disco palace in the very early 1980s.
Listen to Brené Brown’s podcast Unlocking Us
Like a lot of her devotees, I think of Brené as a digital life coach of sorts. It’s like she’s talking only to me, but I know she’s sharing her wisdom and research on human emotions with an audience of millions. Either way, I rely on her to keep me grounded.
Watch Ted Lasso
Guess what? I heard about this gem of a comedy series from Brené Brown! She loves it for what a pure, psychologically sound, and genuinely funny show it is. Check it out.
Watch Christian Hull guess paint colors on TikTok
If you must be on social media, I recommend finding the most soothing content possible. And lucky for you, Aussie comedian Christian Hull’s duets on TikTok, where he tries to guess paint colors before they’re mixed, are both mesmerizing and hysterical. He almost never gets it right!
Gaze at Lauren Ko’s beautiful pies on Instagram
As this master baker says in her bio, “when all hell bakes loose” it’s nice to turn to pie.
Watch Harry Styles’ video for “Golden”
He runs around in a billowy shirt like Fabio for most of the music video. You’re welcome.