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Few things distress people more than other people’s stress, and right now, many of us are feeling the post-election stress in full. But do we have to feel it so intensely? No. There are ways we can feel calmer amid it all, and we’ve rounded up a few ways to do exactly that:

 

South Africa (03 June 2024) — It’s a weird time in South Africa. On the one hand, we’re in the process of experiencing history being made in our political spheres, which is as exciting for many who voted for change, as it is stressful and outright confusing (this is often the nature of historic moments). On the other hand, we’re still in our very early (and admittedly uncomfortable) post-election phase, which means there’s one big question on everyone’s minds and one big question everyone is trying to answer—what happens now?

The anxiety of this question has caused a sea of stress for South Africans everywhere as we try to stay informed while also navigating fear-mongering posts and opinions on social media. How involved should we get in understanding the endless spew of updates? Should we get involved in the speculation debates that are springing up from left, right and central opinions? And when do we take a break? Or better yet, can we?

There are few things that distress people more than other people’s stress. And in the post-election aftermath we’re currently in, there’s a lot of that going around, especially as parties trek on with their negotiation phases. You’ve done your civic duty by voting, and now you have a new one—chilling out.

How to Feel a Little Calmer During the Post-Election Stress

Rely on Information from Trusted Sources!

Friends, family members and people you haven’t seen in years are all sharing opinions on the post-election vibes in South Africa. Some are doing so in long-winded posts on Facebook, while others are keeping the WhatsApp group hot with links to articles.

While we might trust some of these people with our lives, we can’t always trust the information they share—especially if they only get involved in politics once every five years. There’s a lot of myths, nonsense and speculation about what the future of South Africa’s government is going to look like, but it’s your duty to yourself and your community to make sure the information is coming from trusted places.

Keep up with reputable South African journalists who are on the scene when it comes to conferences and events where our parties are involved. There are people who have dedicated their lives to the political field and its reporting, and even then, take opinions with a pinch of salt and caution. You can also check a lot of the information yourself by looking at their verified parties’ pages on social media (but remember, they have a lot of reason to be extra-opinionated at this juncture).

Big media businesses are also no stranger to sensationalism, so don’t just read the headline, read the full piece.

When you have more objective information in your arsenal from a place you trust, it can help turn down the stress levels a lot more than believing a forwarded WhatsApp message that’s been shared thousands of times but has no real origin source.

On that note, always, always check where the info is coming from!

Pick Your Speculation Debates Sparingly!

Whether in-person or online, speculation debates are circling us like sharks. But above all else, remember that they are exactly that—speculation, not fact.

Getting into these kinds of debates can be an emotionally exhausting experience that might leave you feeling like you’re sitting in parliament yourself.

But, if you are going to get involved in post-election debates, for the sake of your own wellbeing and someone else’s, pick your debates wisely and sparingly. And for the sake of not perpetuating opinions as facts or fear-mongering as truth, rather keep them offline.

Don’t Spread What You Don’t Understand!

We’re in a very complicated part of our democratic process. There are seats that have been lost and gained, attempts to envision who will get into bed with who at both provincial and national levels and multiple ideologies fighting for airtime.

South Africa’s Parliamentary happenings are on everyone’s lips, but a lot of people don’t understand the complex nuances of this unchartered territory (we’ve never had so many different parties allocated seats before, so things are sticky as party deals and inter-party collisions beat on).

The bottom line is, if you don’t understand a piece of information for yourself well enough, sharing it and facing the onslaught of opinions that you might not be able to defend is a one-way ticket to more stress.

Avoid Information Overload!

There are tons of updates on our many parties, quotes, timestamps, TikToks, articles, Infographics and more that are filling up spaces where we once saw cute dogs and recipes on social media.

Being overloaded with information is rarely a good thing. It can peak your anxiety levels to awful degrees, which at the end of the day, bleeds into your daily life. Make time for your information catch-ups, but don’t become consumed by them (remember, our social media algorithms will be pushing us a lot of what we’re all currently interested in, so those cute-dog video breaks will be rarer).

And if someone you love has been glued to their phone trying to keep up with every single update, get them out of the house, immediately.

Things are up in the air, yes. It’s uncomfortable not knowing what awaits us, yes. But we’ve still got a way to go until the dust settles, and so why not take that on as peacefully as possible?


Sources: GTG
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About the Author

Ashleigh Nefdt is a writer for Good Things Guy.

Ashleigh's favourite stories have always seen the hidden hero (without the cape) come to the rescue. As a journalist, her labour of love is finding those everyday heroes and spotlighting their spark - especially those empowering women, social upliftment movers, sustainability shakers and creatives with hearts of gold. When she's not working on a story, she's dedicated to her canvas or appreciating Mother Nature.

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