Did You Have Crippling Anxiety Waiting To Find Out About the Election? The XO Editors Did! Here's What We Did to Stay Calm

I nervously tapped my foot and braided my hair compulsively to try to relax. Intern Rachel searched for jobs outside of America. And the rest of XO turned to, well, mostly goats.
Publish date:
November 7, 2012

Were you insanely nervous yesterday over the election pre-sexy-Brian-Williams prediction? I absolutely was. I have this nervous habit of kind of twitching my leg, playing with my hair and generally being completely a restless mess when I can’t immediately and automatically control the outcome of the future.

Except then I remembered that I’m a grown-up.

So I used my anxiety-reducing tools! Okay, my first was just emailing all the other editors here at XO –- and their amazing suggestions are below. I also had the comfort of commiserating with our dynamo intern Rachel who shared with me what she did to feel better -- and that also made me feel like less of a freak.

Here are a few things that chilled me out, and I’ll let you enjoy Rachel’s story and the XO editor’s thread -- with amazing animal videos -- in all their comforting glory.

1.Aromatherapy -- I’m going to do a separate post on this eventually, but I am a complete evangelist when it comes to Kamwo’s essential oils. Like, when I am stressed out and my body kind of shuts down and I don’t get my period, I simply buy their “Nourish Sea of Blood” and boo-yah! Menstruation. But when I was down there recently I also picked up “Worry Free,” “Lift Mind,” “Stress Relief” and “Rejuvenation.” Rejuvenation is my favorite. It smells like a Christmas tree and completely uplifts your brain. Also good as a substitute for smoking.

2.Dancing in the bathroom mirror -- I recommend Robyn for this one. Or the SNL video of “Call Your Girlfriend.”

3. Doing something nice for someone else -- Okay, this one might seem like a no-brainer, but I swear to God it’s the most effective. Yesterday I brought an essential oil and a teddy bear and a book to a friend of mine who lost her dog in the hurricane (I know, awful), but just the act of doing this filled me up with so much happiness and made me feel like: IT’S ALL GOING TO BE OKAY! It’s going to work out. And it did, yo. It did.

So what did the rest of the fearless XO team do? A lot.


I am a person who has minor panic attacks every time I see a vacant building; my mind immediately starts stressing about the well being of the economy -- I CAN'T HANDLE YOU, EMPTY STOREFRONT. Seriously, an overcrowded Macy's during the holiday season makes me cry tears of joy at the beauty of commerce. So clearly after casting my first vote in a presidential election where gay rights, woman's rights, and marijuana's rights were on the line, I was losing my shit.

Luckily I was able to stay cool, avoid the usual mind-numbing dose of Xanax, and be cognizant enough to enjoy Obama's ultimate victory. My secret? Job searches for foreign countries and Brian Williams. For me, the idea of fleeing the country is actually a realistic one -- I am graduating college in May and the world is my oyster! (I have zero idea what that expression means but now I am hungry.) So, with the help of Monster.com and a little thing I like to call DELUSION I found a couple promising jobs in London town in case Mittens made his way to the White House. Despite the fact that I could never afford the move, the illusion of an escape plan helped me through the night.

Additionally, I possess this unwarranted and unwavering trust in Brian Williams as a journalist. I know this sounds really deep, but it probably has more to do with his strong jawline than his education or newsroom background. Either way, I allowed myself to maneuver from his comforting commentary on NBC to the humorous clusterfuck that Fox News became as the race neared the end. This combination of sexy, salt and pepper news anchor and bumbling Republican idiots kept me sane and breathing until I was crying and blubbering at Obama's acceptance speech.

Kate Conway:

Mandy, literally every time I'm getting anxious today I've been looking at:



I think you should probably watch this video of baby goats in sweaters:



I know I've sent this around before, but it's JUST THAT CALMING: www.kittenwar.com

Somer Sherwood:

This is going to sound ridiculous, but when I'm anxious, I find Mr. Rogers to be really soothing. You can watch episodes for free through Amazon Prime! Makes me feel like everything is going to be just fine.


Watch that Russian lady folding towels that Natalie wrote about!


Thank you for the calming manatee. Here is my favorite YouTube video of an animal.


Also, I am going to an agricultural fair this weekend (it's a family tradition) and there's always a petting zoo with eager goats.


I am horribly anxious. I'm going to listen to some Curtis Mayfield and eat candy.


I seriously did refresh Calming Manatee all day: calmingmanatee.com

Also, I drew pictures of my anxiety and shared them on Twitter, and a bunch of my followers drew theirs, too! They are better artists than I.

And I sang along to "Take The Skinheads Bowling" about a million times.

So what did you do to keep calm? Were you also sniffing oil and watching manatees? Did you let out a squeal when the election results were announced?


Find Mandy long-form at http://tinyurl.com/stadtmiller.