A recent national survey shows nearly half of Americans say the election is stressing them out. Go figure! Imelda Sanchez MSN, RN, works in behavioral health at CHRISTUS Santa Rosa Hospital – Medical Center. She says knowing where the anxiety is coming from and how to deal with it could help make this election cycle one that you, your family, and friends can still participate in and come out being friendly!
- Stress is caused by many different factors, including the fear of the unknown. While many may dislike a particular candidate, disagree with him or her, or feel that the candidate may not be competent, the commonality is that voters fear what’s going to happen next.
- Watching debates, political advertising, news or social media posts may not help you make a decision at the ballot box, but they can increase stress, especially if what you are hearing or watching is combative or divisive. The recommendation is to walk away, turn off the electronic gadget, smart phone, notepad, and TV. But, don’t become too distant from the election that you do not know what is going on.
- Don’t ignore stress; find ways to decrease it. Speak to someone about what has you worried about the election. Exercise to increase your endorphins (these help elevate your mood). Eat right and get plenty of sleep. Lastly, remember that the only person you are hurting by stressing is yourself. One candidate will win whether you stress over it or not.
- Will casting a vote help eliminate the stress? It may, because voting allows the person to feel that they have had a say in their future. Not voting could increase stress, because the person may feel they could have changed the outcome. Remember, every vote counts!
- Avoid alcohol. You may think it is taking away some of your Super Tuesday misery and blues, but alcohol is a depressant; that’s the last thing you need when you are stressing out.