Coping With Stress: Election Edition
The 2020 election has caused 68 percent of American adults to report that it was a significant source of stress in their lives, according to a survey conducted by the American Psychological Association.
Interestingly, the stress surrounding the presidential race wasn't a partisan issue. According to APA researchers, the increase in anxiety spanned across all party lines, with 76 percent of registered Democrats and 67 percent of registered Republicans saying that the election was a source of stress.
If election season has affected your anxiety, here are some healthy suggestions for how to reduce your stress levels.
Drop that remote, stop reading your Aunt Sue’s overly opinionated Facebook post and step away from your phone. Unplugging is super important. Go take a walk or put on some music to relax. Clear your mind and focus on something else.
Show Some Compassion
A little compassion goes a long way. Research shows that generosity is cyclical: kindness makes you happier, and happiness makes you kind. Try to engage in that behavior when you’re stressed about the negativity of the news. Volunteer at a local hospital, an animal shelter or a food bank. Do something nice for someone else – even if it’s just overly opinionated Aunt Sue!
Turn your anxiety into something productive. Go out for a run, get in a work out or even play with balloons. Channel your energy into cleaning out that old closet in the back room that you haven’t touched since Hillary Clinton’s husband ran for president.
You don’t have to engage in political discussions with colleagues, friends or relatives. Simply say, “I prefer not to discuss politics” and leave it at that.
Check in with Your Physician
If you’re feeling chronic stress — for any reason — it’s always a good idea to check in with a healthcare professional. Excess anxiety can lead to high blood pressure, heart problems and many other issues.
Learn more about Behavioral Medicine at Ochsner.