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Getting To The Other Side Of Politics

By Shingirai Vambe

Lately, the world seems to be lurching from one crisis to another. We’ve experienced a global pandemic, dramatic changes to how we conduct our daily lives, economic uncertainty, and political and social turmoil, as well as an array of natural disasters. Then there are personal traumas that people are also dealing with, such as the loss of a loved one, declining health, unemployment, divorce, violent crime, or tragic accidents. For many of us, this is a time of unprecedented struggle and upheaval.

No matter what your political beliefs or affiliations, it’s safe to say all Zimbabweans are now living through a unique moment in our nation’s history. The past few months have brought daily headlines that have added to the intense feelings that many people of all convictions have felt since the last presidential election especially younger people who are thinking about what their future might hold.

Report by the independent electoral body, Zimbabwe Election Support Network, clearly spells out lost hope and fatigue following recall letters that the Parliament of Zimbabwe accepted, regardless of them coming from an impersonator and self-imposed secretary general of the citizens for coalition change once led by popular Zimbabwean politician, Nelson Chamisa

The hard times in life, and the tough situations prove to be difficult tests. But on the other side, is where the reward dwells, where the progress is to be had, and where the growth takes place. Getting there is the hard part, and working through the difficulties requires lots of strength, grit, determination, and perseverance.

Even apolitical Zimbabweans may experience second-hand stress from the constant exposure to political turmoil and arguments between individuals or groups. And the news and social media cycles don’t help, making the entire matter seem impossible to avoid.

Working through the tough times requires an increased level of motivation and determination. When the really difficult battles arise, it often means continuing to work and move forward even when you don’t want to, or even when you’re struggling.

Being persistent, forces you to push through, and continue moving forward on your journey, whether you want to or not. An important concept within persistence, lies in one of its closely tied relatives, consistency.

Unless you’ve faced adversity in your life before, it’s unlikely you’ve had the need or opportunity to develop resilience. Drawing on past experiences can help you cope with the challenges you’re facing today. Even if you’ve struggled to cope with adversity in the past, you may at least be able to recognize some of the ways of coping that DON’T help, such as trying to numb your feelings with drugs or alcohol.

While denial can have some positive functions—it can give you an opportunity to come to terms with the shock of a traumatic event, for example—over time, it will just prolong your pain. Staying in denial will prevent you from adapting to your new circumstances, stop you from seeking solutions or taking action, and stifle the healing process.

Change is an inevitable part of life and many aspects of the changing world are outside your individual control. You can’t control the spread of a virus, for example, the pace of social change, or how the economy behaves. While it can be tough to acknowledge, railing against events or circumstances outside your control will only drain you of energy and leave you feeling anxious and hopeless. Accepting your situation, on the other hand, can free you up to devote your energy to the things that you do have control over.

Experts say, wanting to be more politically active or engaged, be proactive, be cognizant of the physical and mental health effects it has on your body and what your motivations are for being engaged.

Assess why you consume political content, how much you consume, where you consume it from and how it makes you feel.

Maybe you’re engaged with politics because you live with someone who never turns off the news. Maybe you’re following a policy change because it’s connected to a cause you’re passionate about, or your line of work.

Focus on things within your control and give yourself permission to stop worrying about them. Instead, focus on the action that you can take. For some, seeing news about the turmoil in the Southern African country with major headlines every day, may cause distress. Others, on all sides of the current debates, may feel personally attacked by major ideological differences among their fellow Zimbabweans, or the actions of people at different levels of government. And others may perceive opposing views from friends or family members as a sense of betrayal.

While it’s important to be aware of what’s going on in our country and the world, you need to take care of yourself and mental health too. the current political environment push citizens to the edge, exposed to different life-styles, require psycho-social support. The cancer has grown over time and dozens have given up.

Ignore the politics, politicians are enjoying the turmoil as it benefits them.