With the final 2020 Presidential Debate coming up on Thursday, October 22, you might want to think about if the next morning’s hangover is worth taking a shot every time Trump dodges questions about his taxes or Biden brings up Obama. Maybe put the drinking bingo away for this round. Considering the pain it brings those of us who are sober while watching, let’s make the final 2020 Presidential Debate a little easier to handle. Here’s a guide to mentally and physically prepare yourself for the upcoming debate, no alcohol needed!

1. Find a private panic room

Need to scream without anyone calling an ambulance? Close your door and scream away (preferably into a pillow). Although your room probably isn’t soundproof, whoever hears you will probably empathize. It’s important to have a space for yourself to feel comfortable with the emotions that might come up during the debate. It’s normal to go through a range of emotions, but remember to give yourself an environment to express those feelings.

2. Vent to roommates or group chats

That being said, don’t think you have to go through this alone! Feel free to scream with your roommates or video chat with friends while watching. It’s really great knowing you’re not the only one getting frustrated with candidates’ answers or constant interruptions. So having someone to turn to can feel fantastic. When Kamala Harris said, “Mr. Vice President, I’m speaking,” my roommate and I screamed in our respective rooms and proceeded to shout a conversation at one another. Sometimes, it just feels good knowing someone’s there.

3. Get the tea ready!

A cup of tea can go a long way. Peppermint and chamomile tea are the best for feeling anxious, and it helps immensely. In all seriousness, this election can bring a lot of stress which, on top of everything else happening, is not super helpful. Give your body a little pick-me-up from the anxiety of the debate with a soothing cup of tea (or five). As Uncle Iroh once said, “Sick of tea? That’s like being sick of breathing!” He definitely had a good point.

4. Snacks? Snacks.

Make a run to the grocery store and stock up on your favorite snacks. During finals, I like to go to my local bakery and get a red velvet cupcake because it’s something to look forward to and enjoy. My favorite snacks boost my mood a bunch during stressful times, and the debate is no exception. Catch me with my red velvet cupcake screaming at my screen!

5. Dress for the occasion

Picture by Gia Yetikyel 

What’re you wearing? Your extra-large sweatshirt and old sweatpants? Perfect. As much as I love dressing up, these debates require a more ~casual and comfy~ vibe. I want to be relaxed (as much as one actually can be) during these debates, and that requires the perfect outfit. I know virtual school and events mean sweats have become the new norm, but put a little oomph into it! Break out the comfiest clothes you have and have fun knowing that even though you’re not going anywhere, you’ve got plans tonight to treat yourself with kindness and compassion.

6. Take it in and listen to yourself

The debate just ended and your first thought is, “What the fuck did I just watch?” Don’t rush the process of taking in the debate. Listen to what your mind and body need. Shower because you feel icky after watching. Shut off your phone. Get some fresh air. Do what you need to do. No one can tell you how to handle the state of this country except for you. You’re doing great.

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