Does the impending Election Day have you stressed? You are definitely not alone. The coronavirus pandemic has already caused a large spike in the number of Americans seeking help for mental health issues, and a contentious election season has many people feeling anxious and even afraid as Election Day draws near.
“I’ve never seen anything like this in terms of the level of fear, anxiety and anger that this is provoking in people on both sides,” Manhattan psychologist Chloe Carmichael, PhD, told the New York Post. “People are feeling like this is a life-and-death situation.”
So, what are some good ways to deal with the stress of the election? First, if social media riles you up, stay away! Barbara Nosal, Ph.D., LMFG, LADC, chief clinical officer at Newport Institute, talked to Fox News about the pitfalls of social media use in high-stress moments. “Social media use during high-stress events can often lead to feelings of depression, anxiety, insomnia, isolation and fatigue,” Nosal said.
“‘Doomscrolling’ can often occur in scenarios like this when we are surrounded by and continuously reading or scrolling through bad news, even when it is disheartening or depressing.”
Nosal also talked about taking control of what you can, and once you cast your vote, “recognize the need to let it go and resist putting energy into the outcome, given you cannot change it.” She continued, “We can control our one vote, but the election results are out of our control.”
It’s also important to make plans for yourself following casting your ballot. Meet up with a friend, go out to dinner, get some exercise, do something for yourself and stay focused on what you can control.