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switch off

12 little things you can do to switch off if the referendum is getting too much for you

We all need to look after ourselves.

THIS REFERENDUM IS proving to be a tough time for a lot of us. Between the constant debates, posters and news stories it can sometimes feel like it’s never going to end and that can feel quite overwhelming.

Twitter user Áine decided to put together a thread of the many different ways people relax which inspired us to put together our own list. Some will work for you and some won’t but remember, they’re only suggestions.

Here’s 12 ideas for how to switch off during the referendum.

1. Mute certain words or phrases from your social media.

The mute function on Twitter is probably one of the best things that has ever been invented. If you find that certain phrases are causing you distress but you can’t turn off social media for work/personal reasons mute them. Repeal Shield is also a great tool for blocking certain accounts and can be really beneficial. It’s ok to tune out the noise when it gets too much.

2. Treat yourself.

If you’ve had a particularly rough day be it from canvassing, social media or you’re just exhausted, get yourself a treat. It can be anything from a small bar of chocolate to that new skirt or top or pair of shoes you’ve had your eye on. Get your hair and make up done if you want. It’s a tough time. Be nice to yourself.


3. Take regular breaks.

If you’re doing something nearly every night or most days for the referendum, you can forget to take care of yourself. Take some evenings off just for yourself and catch up with yourself. Paint your toenails, listen to non-news podcasts or music, MOISTURISE. You’re only human and you won’t carry this referendum by yourself.

4. Catch up with your friends.

During this campaign, it’s easy to get caught up in your own head and forget about our mates. Set some time aside to see them, maybe have a pact that you won’t take about the referendum at all if that’s what you want to do. Have a night where you get a takeaway and watch a movie and just catch up on stuff.


5. Set some time aside for your hobbies.

Hobbies are a great way to turn off during the referendum, particularly if they involve being outside and don’t involve social media. Set some time aside every day (if you can) to indulge that hobby be it knitting, gardening, going to the gym, Netflix or whatever the hell you can. Turn off your phone (unless you need it for music) and just be at one with it.

6. Find anything that makes you laugh and keep going back to it.

Laughing is incredibly therapeutic and is good for you. One of the things that helps me relax is watching old episodes of Mock the Week (god bless Netflix). Find whatever it is that makes you laugh be it comedy specials, memes, sitcoms or reality shows. Whatever your tonic, find it and hold it close. It’ll make you feel a lot better.


7. Get lost in a good book.

Books are great and I will fight anyone who says otherwise. Get a book, find a cosy corner, get a cup of tea or a glass of wine and curl up for an hour or two. It can be Neville Southall’s autobiography or 50 Shades for all I care, whatever keeps you sane.

8. Spend some time with a pet.

Pets are great and non judgmental about anything and everything. Take your dog out for a walk, get your cat to give you a cuddle, let your guinea pig run around your room. If you don’t have a pet, find some good dog videos online or cats or whatever tickles your fancy. You’ll feel better.


9. Get a mediation app like Headspace.

We all talk about meditation, yoga or pilates like they’re going to save us from the impending apocalypse. However, if you’re finding it hard to switch off, a guided meditation might be a good thing to look into if your head is a bit too full.

10. Do something physical.

If you’re not someone who enjoys exercise then this might not be the best coping mechanism but a good walk or cycle or run or gym session can do you the world of good. It is kind of hard to go walking anywhere without seeing posters but if you can find a place like a park it might help clear the head and get the endorphins up.


11. Buy a terrible magazine.

We all know the magazines I’m talking about. Buy one with a mad headline like ‘I married a ghost’, make yourself a cup of tea and settle in for an hour. Read the horoscopes, do the crossword and allow your brain to get lost in the mad stories like how Mary from Kent fell in love with an otter because it reminded her of her dead husband.


12. Know your limits and don’t be afraid to reach out for help.

If everything is becoming too much for you, don’t be afraid to ask for help be it a chat with someone from your local group, a family member, a friend or a therapist. We all need to have each other’s backs in these last few weeks. Somebody is always willing to listen. Take a few days off if you need to recharge, you’re not good to anybody if you’re burnt out.


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