Misti Nicholson, PsyD
While every election causes some anxiety, this year’s election is particularly contentious and it is something we are discussing a lot in our offices. People are reporting anxiety, worry, anger, and uncertainty about the future. The American Psychological Association reports that, regardless of political affiliation, Americans are citing the election as a significant source of stress. For many, anxiety and uncertainty seem to be increasing as election day draws nearer. If you are among the many people feeling anxious about the election, here are a few tips that may be helpful.
Read and Watch Just Enough to Stay Informed. Limit exposure to the news to 20 minutes each day then change the channel to something more enjoyable. Also consider taking a break from social media.
Talk About Something Else. Be aware of how often the election is the topic of conversation with colleagues, friends, and family. Avoid conversations about politics if they are likely to lead to stress or conflict.
Take Time for Yourself. Go for a walk, read a good book, spend time with friends and family, or do something else enjoyable.
Be Proactive. Make informed decisions and vote. In addition to the presidential election, voting in state and local elections is another a way to be proactive. Also consider, joining a campaign at DoSomething.org or volunteering at a community organization that supports issues that are important to you.
Develop Skills for Managing Anxiety. Check out meditation apps like Headspace and Stop Breathe and Think. Dedicating brief amounts of time to worry rather than telling yourself not to worry can also be helpful. Recognize unhelpful thought patterns and try to maintain a balanced perspective.
If you are interested in learning more about anxiety or scheduling an appointment with one of our anxiety specialists call (512) 246-7225 or email us at [email protected]. We are currently accepting new patients at our Round Rock and Austin therapy offices.