Post Election Stress

howtomoveforward

According to a Harris Poll conducted in October on behalf of the American Psychological Association, 52% of American adults reported that this Presidential election was a significant source of stress.  Following last Tuesday’s election results and expected significant political change, post-election stress has set in for many Americans, Republicans and Democrats alike.  Regardless of who you voted for, I think a lot of us can agree that this past year has been politically exhausting.

Major political change often brings with it uncertainty about the present and the future. You may be concerned about everything from your finances and economic future to what these election results will mean for the future of your family or country. Typical feelings due to political change are:

  • insecurity
  • loss of control
  • worry
  • anxiety
  • concern about the future
  • stress about how to relate and communicate with others who don’t share your beliefs

Here are some ways to effectively manage some of these feelings

  • Take a break from social media  Social media is full of people posting political opinions, personal beliefs, articles, petitions, disagreements, and misinformation. Avoiding social media gives you space to process your own thoughts and feelings without being influenced by others.
  • Strive for unity, kindness, and compassion  The more compassion and understanding you exhibit toward others—including those who may not share your beliefs—the less tension-filled your world will be.
  • Make physical activity a priority  Exercise is one of the best ways to reduce stress and improve your mood. Go for a walk. Get some fresh air. Exercise.  Practice deep breathing or meditation.
  • Do the things you would normally do during difficult times to manage stress and anxiety  Make a point of eating well-balanced meals. Drink plenty of water—stress can sometimes lead to dehydration.  Limit alcohol consumption.  Self care! Self Care!  Self Care!
  • Connect with friends and family  You’ll probably find that others are just as worried or relieved as you are about the same or similar things. Talking things over can help relieve stress.
  • Be a role model of resilience for your children. If you are feeling stressed, angry, or worried, it’s likely your child is picking up on those feelings. Make time to have a conversation with your child if that is the case. Use this time as an opportunity to talk with your child in age-appropriate ways about how government and democracy works. Listen to your child’s worries and concerns. Your child may hear worried adults talking and fear that your family and/or friends will be directly affected. Tell your children that you will do all that you can to keep them safe from bullying and discrimination.  Listen and provide guidance and reassurance.
  • Get involved  Many people are feeling helpless and overwhelmed following the election and want to get involved but do not know how or where to start.  Research local or nationwide groups that you are passionate about.  Volunteer or donate to a cause close to your heart.  Getting involved and connected with those who share the same beliefs can help ease anxiety and create a sense of purpose and control.  We all have the power to make positive change.

SEEK HELP

If you or someone you love is struggling with feelings of worry or anxiety, feeling overwhelmed, or are having difficulties in other areas, talking to a professional may help.

Remember, at the end of the day, whether you are a Republican or Democrat, we are all part of the human race and we all have the power to be kind and compassionate and make positive change.

By |2016-11-15T20:06:18+00:00November 15th, 2016|Categories: Blog, Mental Wellness|Tags: , |0 Comments

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