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Election Week Self-Care Facilitator Guides

Updated: Nov 4

A version of this guide was originally published on LinkedIn on November 3, 2020


This facilitator guide was created for a university residential community during the 2020 Presidential Elections. Feel free to utilize and adapt this resource if you are looking for additional ways to support groups, teams, and communities this week with a Restorative mindset.


Format 1 - 1:1 Conversations at Drop-in Circle

I. Welcome

  • Check-In: Share one high point of the day/week

  • If you haven’t met individually yet, discuss introductory topics like: pronouns, major/minor, club and organization involvement.

II. Community Responsibility

  • Share Affect: Staff Members share a few statements of positive affect about how they have observed the community so far this year. Examples: I was really proud of how we all…| I am impressed by the way you/we have… | I am excited for us to…

  • ASK: Staff Members ask residents how they feel about their residential community right now.

III. Personal Support

Election Week Self Care - Prompting questions for students to create a self care plan for this week

  • What are your fears?

  • What are your hopes?

  • How did you react to the last election?

  • Helpful/less helpful ways you coped/responded last time?

  • How can you cope/respond this time?

  • Who are your support people? Make a plan now to reach out to them.

  • What can you do to ground yourself today, that night, next morning, daily if results are not clear right away?

  • What is your favorite comfort drink/food/movie/activity?

  • Who do you support? How will you check in with them?

Academic/Social Support - Some prompting questions to get you started

  • What stands out about your time on campus so far? What has happened to any previous concerns or worries about the year?

  • What surprises have you had in your social life? How do these experiences impact some goals you had when entering college?

  • What have been the most thought-provoking ideas in your classes?

  • What have you been thinking about since/during prelims? What additional support do you need?

  • Are you interested in connecting to others in the community who share similar academic or social interests?

  • As you reflect back on the semester so far, what stands out?

  • What are some of your deeper concerns at this point in the semester?

V. Closing Check-Out: Share two words to describe how you’re feeling after our conversation


Format 2 - Group Support Circle

I. Welcome - If all members of the group haven’t met yet yet, discuss introductory topics like: name, pronouns, major/minor, club and organization involvement.


II. Share Affect: Staff Members share a few statements of positive affect about how they have observed the community so far this year. Examples:

  • I was really proud of how we all…

  • I am impressed by the way you/we have…

  • I am excited for us to…

III. Norms and Agreements: Review proposed community agreements below and ask, "is there anything else that we should agree to during our circle conversation to make this an inclusive learning environment?"

  • Share what you feel comfortable sharing.

  • Respect the talking piece

  • You can pass at any time.

  • Be mindful of time.

  • Respect the privacy of those sharing.

  • Trust intent/name impact

  • Use “I” statements

  • Speak from the heart/listen from the heart

  • Be here now

  • Prioritize connection before content

  • Be both teachers and learners

IV. Sequential Circles

Round 1 Check-in: Share one high point of the day/week

Round 2 Values: What is a value in your life you are trying to lean into particularly at this time?

Note: To strengthen the atmosphere of deep respect, it is important to pay attention to the values participants are bringing to the space

Round 3 Support Circle - Choose one to four of the questions below that feel right in your circumstances and then decide the order in which you want to pose the questions

  • What does this moment in time mean to you?

  • Who are your support people? Make a plan now to reach out to them.

  • Who do you support? How will you check in with them?

  • What stands out about your time on campus so far? What has happened to any previous concerns or worries about the year?

  • Are you interested in connecting to others in the community who share similar academic or social interests?

  • As you reflect back on the semester so far, what stands out?

  • What are some of your deeper concerns at this point in the semester?

  • What are some of your hopes and fears?

  • What ways did you respond during the last election and how do you plan to respond/cope this time?

  • What can you do to ground yourself today, that night, next morning, daily if election results are not clear right away?

Round 4 Building Empathy: What is something that someone else just shared that resonates with you / a feeling you also share?

Round 5 Check-out: Share a word or phrase describing how you are feeling as we close our Circle.


Circle format adapted from Living Justice Press. (2020). Online support circles in response to social distancing

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