As election day approaches, an overall sense of unease from a year of revolutionary crisis and peak anxiety is setting in for many. The nation seems collectively on edge, waiting for their ballots to be counted this week in what many Americans are calling one of the most important and impactful presidential elections in a lifetime.
Both sides of the spectrum can attest to a resulting urge to stay glued to graphs and polls, or rather, eat junk food in bed all day while we await the results of this contentious race. Hopefully, you’ve done your part in casting your ballot and encouraging others to do the same (if not, you can still register and vote in person up until 8 p.m. on Tuesday).
Now all that’s left to do is wait, but you don’t have to pass the time with idle hands. Instead, take your mind off of the overwhelming “what-ifs” in life and light a candle, turn on some chill beats, or whip up a comforting dinner. Browse below for other suggested endeavors to pass the time.
Get Lost In Feel-Good Fiction
Jess Walter’s Beautiful Ruins is one route. The Spokane native tells the tale of a love affair that crosses continents over the course of 50 years, describing memorable characters and many lives.
Walk Your Neighborhood
As we head through autumn and into winter, it might just be the last few days or weeks of these sunny afternoons. Get out your nervous energy and soak in the beautiful little details with a short walk.
Cook A Comforting Meal
A big bowl of hot, fall soup manifests in the mind like a warm hug. This tomato soup recipe will be simple and quick to cook up, with the yummy reliability we all need right now.
Binge-Watch Something Warm and Fuzzy
Wrap yourself in the warm hug that is the fictional small town of Stars Hollow in Gilmore Girls, or head to Northeastern Pennsylvania and hang with everyone’s favorite co-workers at Dunder Mifflin Paper Co. in The Office. Both are reliable standbys and both happen to be streaming on Netflix.
Put On Some Background Beats
Studies show that soft music and ambient sounds make people (and even animals!) calmer and more productive. Spotify, YouTube Music, Apple Music, and other music streaming services have myriad playlists aimed at soothing the soul and even lessening tension headaches — we like any of the headache relief kits on Spotify.
Light A Relaxing Candle
Specifically, try a vanilla rose candle from Calm and Cure Candle Co. The 11-year-old Tacoma resident behind the soy candles has been using scents from essential oils that can help ease anxiety since he launched his business earlier this year to breakout success.
Hobbies or Mind Games
Get lost in a serious jigsaw puzzle — the higher the piece count the better — or pull out a sketchpad; active tasks like these are bound to boost your brain a bit further than doom-scrolling or staring at polls on a TV screen all evening.