Election day is over and the final count is in, but that doesn’t mean the stress that comes from the election is over. Many people deal with stress, fear, and anxiety during and after election day. There’s a lot to think about concerning how the elected officials are going to lead the country. However, it’s just not the elected officials that might stress people out, it could be family, friends, and co-workers adding to the problems. Good news is there are ways to help cope with the stress you might be experiencing.
5 tips to cope with election stress
Do something healthy – Election stress can rob you of energy that could be used for good. Exercise is one of the best ways to deal with stress. Exercise can vary from going on a walk or jog to cleaning the house. If mobility issues impact the amount of exercise that can be done, consult with your doctor for customized ways to exercise safely.
Eating well is another healthy way to cope with stress. Consuming alcohol, sodas, energy drinks, or drinks with high sugar can impair clear decision making skills.
Other healthy coping mechanisms include reading, medication, playing a game, cooking, fishing, and recreational activities. Sometimes simply taking a nap and resting can be very beneficial. Journaling can be used to help process your thoughts and express what you’re dealing with.
Unplug – Consuming media for long periods of time is not healthy for the mind. Your mind needs a break for many reasons which include information overload, stirring of emotions, raised blood pressure, and distractions.
Social media alone has a huge impact on how we relate with others. The written unspoken word can be very dangerous if what is said is not considerate, encouraging, or not processed. Submitting a Facebook status can be easy to do, but it’s very hard to recover from hurtful words.
Pro Tip: Customize your news feed on Facebook by selecting the arrow button near the top right corner of posts or settings arrow at the top of the Facebook page. Once selected there are options to unfollow posts, hide from news feed, or News Feed Preferences. By doing so, this will let Facebook know you prefer not to see such posts. This tip will also keep you from unfriending folks, but filter what is seen in your news feed.
There’s actually a lot of stress that comes from social media. Everyone wants their voice to be heard and social media provides a means to do so. Whether you are the person just reading everyone’s statuses or the one posting to the feeds, stop and consider the consequences of what you’re contributing. As the old proverb says, “Everything is permissible, but not all things are beneficial.”
Turn the TV off. Much like flipping through the social media feeds, there’s a lot of information and opinions being thrown at you. Instead refer to the healthy tips mentioned above. Your mind needs a break and it’s a good opportunity to get a project done or visit with a friend.
Avoid conflict – If you find yourself getting upset while watching the news, seeing social media posts, or talking with someone about the elections, stop. Take a time out. Know your limits. Relationships are more important than what someone is saying about the election. It’s not worth saying something hurtful or receiving harmful words.
If your candidate won, don’t gloat. It’s OK to be happy with your candidate winning, but again be careful with what is said. It’s not worth damaging a relationship with a family member or friend.
If your candidate lost, don’t lash out. Making insults and negative remarks only causes trouble. It’s not always easy to see your choice candidate lose, but words can either be life giving or destructive.
In any case, make the decision to respect, honor, and give grace to others. Work together to find common ground.
Professional Help – Unfortunately, at times stress is overwhelming and self-help tips are not enough. In these cases, it’s always important to consult with professionals. There are people in place to be able to get you the care you need.
SpectraCare has a 24/7 helpline that can be reached at 800-951-HELP.
Through the course of election night there were reports of suicide helplines being very busy due to people’s worry, fear, and stress due to the outcome of the election. It is imperative to reach out to someone if you’re having thoughts of suicide or to harm someone else. There is No Shame In Talking to someone about your struggles or if you know of someone dealing with these issues.
Get involved – Election season can cause a person to spend some extra energy stressing over who is going to win, what policies are going to be passed, and what direction the nation is going to take. Put that energy to good use. Election season can be used as motivation to get involved in your local communities.
Sense of accomplishment and helping others does the soul good! If you care about certain issues and work towards making a difference in the lives around you, it can lift your spirits knowing there has been a positive impact.
Ideas for getting involved include volunteering at organizations, learning peaceful ways to express concerns, communicating with local officials, or perhaps running for office yourself.
One of the best ways to get involved is to help create healthy families. It starts with the family. Another old saying goes, “As goes the family, goes the community, goes the nation.”
Election stress can really take a toll on people and there are ways to cope with that stress. It’s not an easy time for some people as there are many questions yet to be answered. While being passionate about elections and the outcomes, it is important to remember to take care of yourself and others. After all, one good thing to consider about election stress or stress in general is that you care about what’s going on. It’s how we handle stress that counts.
Thanks for taking the time to read this post. We sincerely hope it was helpful information for you. For more posts, news, and mental health awareness tips from SpectraCare Health Systems please follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram!