By Mia Sherin, October 11, 2020
I don’t have to tell you twice that a presidential election is just around the corner. Whether you are solely following along through Twitter memes or are setting up yard signs for your preferred candidate as we speak, the news regarding the election are overwhelming and impossible to avoid. Our Habits 365 community is proudly made up of a younger audience, many of us just being old enough to vote come November, and all of us able to participate in the political climate and conversations circulating our country. So, we are here with some good practices to get in the habits of before November 3rd.
The first, and most important, habit to practice before election day: vote, vote, vote! It is beyond important to exercise your right to vote, especially given that this is arguably one of the most consequential elections in history. Be a part of history by voting in the upcoming election. It is easy to feel like your vote won’t make a difference, but the truth in the matter is that millennials and Gen Z voters have the power to strongly influence the election, making up 37 percent of eligible voters. So not only do our votes actually matter, but it is also important to recognize that the choice to not be political is one that is made with privilege. If we have the privilege to not worry about politics, then we must vote for people without the same luxury who deserve protection. Register to vote at vote.gov.
In addition to making sure that you vote (and double-checking your voter registration), staying informed during this time is more crucial than ever. For example, do you want to get involved and vote but aren’t sure who to vote for? I got you! Try taking ISideWith’s presidential election quiz, which is a nonpartisan quiz that will ask you questions about your values and beliefs to see which candidate those most align with. Ballot Ready is another great resource to get information before elections, giving you details on candidates’ stances and showing you what to expect on your ballot (I especially love this website for local elections when there are many candidates to choose from)!
When getting in the habit of staying educated and informed, make sure to get your daily news and information from sources outside of just Instagram stories. While social media is a really helpful tool when it comes to staying in the loop, it’s best to go to many different sources to get a well-rounded sum of information. Talk with family and friends, those who think similarly to you and those who think differently.
And finally, during this intense political climate, the looming election can undoubtedly take a toll on your mental health — I know I could hardly sleep the night after watching the debate. There is a lot of pressure that comes with elections in general, and it can be a heavy weight to carry. While it’s important to be an informed political citizen, it’s also essential to take care of yourself and take breaks. Give yourself permission to stop thinking about it, for a day, an hour, or even just a few minutes. Just once, instead of searching up the latest polls or cramming in a few minutes on the New York Times, take that Buzzfeed quiz. Go on TikTok. Call a friend. It is undeniably a privilege to be able to step away from politics and stop caring. But I’m not asking you to stop caring. I’m asking you to take a break.
So vote early, stay educated, and take care of yourself. There are less than 25 days to go until November 3rd. Be a part of the history we are living through.