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The Daily Tar Heel

Editorial: Take care of yourselves, and each other

Volunteers at Holy Trinity Lutheran Church

Volunteers at the Holy Trinity Lutheran Church polling location take a break during some down time on Tuesday, Nov. 3, 2020.

As you wake up Wednesday morning, remember to take care of yourselves, and each other. This election has been emotionally taxing for, well, most of us ... and it's not over yet. 

Though votes are still being counted, current unofficial results show Biden with 48 percent of the vote and Trump with almost 50 percent of the vote.

There’s a lot to unpack: widespread voter suppression, the absurdity of the Electoral College, the questions of “How did we get here?” and "What's next?" 

But for now, give yourself a break. Rest. Mourn. Breathe. Check in on your loved ones, especially your Black friends. Your LGBTQ+ friends. Their fears are real. 

Professors, have empathy for your students right now. Adjust your expectations, and make accommodations wherever necessary. Many of us need time to process, and school is the last thing on our minds. Marginalized students are feeling this particularly deeply — hold space for them while they focus on issues beyond their classes. 

The coming days and weeks will be hard for many of us. There’s a lot that’s out of our control — but the one thing we can do is be gentle and kind, with ourselves and with others. Here are some tips:

  • Set social media boundaries if you need to. Close Twitter and take a deep breath, then come back when you feel ready.  
  • Lean on your support system. Community is crucial right now. 
  • Focus on the basics: sleep, food, water. 
  • Find a distraction. Whether it’s a good book, your favorite Netflix show or a cathartic Spotify playlist, do your best to keep your mind occupied. 
  • Think of the positives in state and local races. Record voter turnout in North Carolina. Four more years of a Democratic governor, whose leadership is critical amid the COVID-19 pandemic. 

Please, stay safe. This election isn’t over, and as the final votes are tallied, be wary of heightened tensions and the potential for violence. If you attend a protest, take the necessary precautions, and please, don't go alone. Your Black and brown friends may be scared to go out in public this week — offer to drop off food or groceries if they need them. 

No matter what happens, we cannot grow complacent. Stay vigilant, and continue to uplift the voices of those organizing and doing critical activist work. Support them in whatever way you can.