As the first polls began to close in Tuesday’s midterm elections, The New York Times released a five-step guide to help readers “cope” with election “anxiety,” which includes an ice bath facial and tips to breathe “like a baby.”
An image posted on the New York Times’ official Twitter account Tuesday evening listed “5 Ways to soothe election stress,” citing “evidence-based strategies” that equip readers with the tools they need to stay calm throughout the night.
“Elections and anxiety often go hand in hand,” the Times’ caption reads. “Here are some evidence-based strategies that can help you cope.”
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The first tip is described as “five- finger breathing,” which includes tracing “the outside of your hand with your pointer finger.
“When you trace up, breathe in, when you trace down, breathe out,” the post reads.
The second tip encourages readers to “cool down” by plunging their faces into “a bowl with ice water for 15 to 30 seconds.”
A separate tip instructed readers to “breathe like a baby.”
“Focus on expanding your belly as you breathe, which can send more oxygen to the brain,” the Grey Lady writes.
Other tips include walking around the block and limiting scrolling times by pre-planning when to check election results.
The post was widely mocked on social media, with critics questioning whether the post was written in jest.
“For f—‘s sake,” former Business Insider editor Josh Barro wrote alongside the image.
“NYT is suggesting you plunge your face into ice water and breathe like a baby tonight and is apparently completely serious about it,” Axios sports editor Kendall Baker tweeted.
“Maybe you shouldn’t have spent six months convincing your gullible readers that democracy will end if their party loses,” iHeartMedia talk show Dan O’Donnell chimed in.
“It’s getting really hard for @TheBabylonBee to make satire better than this,” Ashley St. Clair quipped.
“You cannot be serious mate,” former Brexit Party leader Nigel Farage agreed.
National Review’s John J. Miller joked that “the opinion page of the @nytimes is gonna be so much fun to read this week.”
Mediaite editor-in-chief–Aidan McLaughlin, Buzzfeed reporter Julia Reinstein, and Business Insider’s Bethany Biron all captioned the Times post mocking the same three words: “Breathe like a baby.”
“Good night to bust out my weighted blanket and smother myself with it I’d say,” Biron added.
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“Well, looks like some people are gonna have a rough night…,” Sky News host James Morrow reacted.
“How soft,” former ESPN analyst Dan Dakitch responded, calling the Times’ post “embarrassing.”