Post-2019 elections: A self-care guide
MANILA, Philippines – Monday, May 13, was tough for many Filipinos, particularly those who are active on the interwebs. And no, it wasn't because of the stress-filled hour and 17 minutes that was the penultimate episode of Game of Thrones.
Millions of Filipinos came out to vote on May 13 for the 2019 midterm elections. It's a crucial vote. Midterm elections are generally seen as a check on the current administration and a chance for it to flex its political might.
And flex, the Duterte administration did. So far, with results from over 95% precincts in, the 12 Senate seats up for grabs will likely be filled with candidates and reelectionists who are either endorsed, supported by, or loosely allied with President Rodrigo Duterte. (READ: Opposition bets fail to get in Magic 12)
While that's good news for Duterte supporters, it's a huge blow for voters who wanted opposing voices in a Congress that's already dominated by an administration-allied supermajority.
What's a person to do?
Here's our unsolicited guide to making it through the post-election grief and anxiety.
Keep tabs on the election results. Yes, it hurts, but vigilance and awareness is key. You wouldn't want all that emotion hinged on something inaccurate, right?
Debrief. Talk about the elections, have discussions on who you voted for and why. Debate. Get your views out there while at the same time being open to insight from those who voted differently. Doing so might help you understand the election results better – which is key to accepting them, and moving forward.
Support an NGO. If you feel like all the effort you made to vote was for naught, don't lose hope. As a private citizen, there is still a lot you can do to help make the country a better place – even if it's just the small corner of the country you have access to.
Meditate. If not for clarity, then do it to at least help manage your anxiety. Staying calm and thinking rationally might help us make more sense of the country's political situation.
Volunteer at PAWS. Because what better way to ease your troubles about the country's future than by being surrounded by a bunch of very good bois and girls?
Exercise. We all know working out does wonders for your body – but also for your mental health. Aside from helping manage stress, exercise is said to lower the risk of depression and improve sleep quality.
Turn to television/movies. If you need a pick-me-up to remind you that there is still good in the world, binge-watch feel-good shows like Queer Eye, Jane the Virgin, or a film like Detective Pikachu. If you prefer indulging in your emotions, go for tearjerkers like Someone Great or Exes Baggage.
Travel locally. It's easy to fall out of love with the country if the election results aren't what you hoped for, but seeing the Philippines in all its beauty is a great way to fall back in love with it – and remind yourself of what you're fighting for here. (READ: From pristine beaches to scenic highlands: 5 budget weekend trips from P2,000 and up)
Down a drink (or two, or three). We don't advocate that you drown your feelings and sorrows in alcohol, but a night of responsible drinking shouldn't hurt. Grab a drink or two from your local convenience store, make a quick trip to your local watering hole, or visit that bar you've always wanted to check out. Luckily, 3 of Asia's 50 best bars are in Metro Manila.
Get back into the game. Listen, we understand. Jumping head-first into the crazy and sometimes disheartening world of politics and policy in the Philippines can be the exact opposite of self-care. But if you think the 2019 election results are upsetting, it's going to be even more upsetting if you don't do anything about it.
Register to vote, engage with your elected and appointed leaders, involve yourself in organizations that matter to you – you do you, really.
Make the coming days, months, and years count – if not for the country, at least for your sanity! – Rappler.com