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EDITORIAL: Life, liberty and the pursuit of self care

We the people have a right to life, liberty. . . and self care.

This has been an election with record high early voter turnout for a gubernatorial race just after two years of America’s most polarizing and unpopular president in history.

There are also many critically important ballots and measures which could affect everyday life for people in Humboldt county, and it’s very important to take care of yourself during such a high pressure election.

One of the most critical ballots for people’s livelihoods this year is measure K, an initiative to make Humboldt County a sanctuary county prohibiting local law enforcement with cooperating with federal immigration officers. Proponents of K claim this measure protects families of undocumented persons by granting custodial power and avoids unnecessary pain.

This measure could likely make or break the practice of separating families in our county. Family separation can cause irreversible harm to kids and their parents. It makes sense that the people whose livelihoods and security depends on this measure will feel the stress this election season.

Resources for undocumented students and/or citizens are available on both a national and local level.

  • Humboldt State University offers multiple resources through the Student Health and Wellbeing center for students including financial aid options, health care options and legal help.
  • The California State University system offers various resources for legal or con campus help for undocumented students.
  • Teresa Foster, Immigration Consultant 707 255-8666 – According to the St. Joseph’s Community Resource listing, Foster helps immigrants re-unite with loved ones through various visa processes, up to and including residency and citizenship; based in Napa, office serves the immigrant community throughout the state. Foster is not an attorney, she is a consultant with a bond on file at the CA Secretary of State. Because this location is farther away consider calling for information.
  • Catholic Charities, Immigration and Citizenship Services offers mostly legal services regarding citizenship classes, refugee resettlement, DACA, preparing documents for visa petitions, adjustments of status, affidavits of support, consular processing documents and work authorizations. This location involves a four hour drive south, but you can visit their website for general information on any of these topics or family reunification.
  • Those in need of help and advice can also find the closest resource to them through the National Immigration Legal Services Directory. A zip code search will bring up a list of near by resources. Click here to find resources around this a

Though there is not an explicitly a decision on immigration, this election has the potential to sway the political power in both the House of Representatives and the Senate. We recognize the results of this election can still cause great distress about the future of important topics like immigration policies and reform.

On a mental health care level, this election season, The Lumberjack has some suggestions for people who are feeling uneasy about the future. For whatever reason voters may feel stressed, depressed, angry, sad or happy, people can decompress by taking breaks from social media, watching funny animal videos, yoga and meditation, and emotion management.

Taking a break from social media is a strong preemptive measure to reduce anxiety and depression for the election. Research from Anxiety and Depression Association of America suggests that social media usage is significantly associated with mood instability, including a prevalence of depression.

If you see content that might cause you discomfort, turn your phone over for a little bit. There is no shame in logging off in the name of self care.

Crying also has mood benefits, depending on the person. The act of crying leads to tension relief, and can help with psychological recovery from distress. It is possible that people may feel distress when realizing their candidate has lost, like when President Trump was elected. A healthy cry gets the job done to move on to the future.

Try watching some online videos like funny animal videos or fail compilations. These are a great way to take the edge off a long election night. Skip the viral videos and play your favorite video game instead.

Make some time to sleep or exercise as healthy distractions if viral videos and video games won’t cut it.

Last, but most certainly not least, if you are feeling that you can not handle the pressure alone, here are some resources to connect to the person you need.

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