Majority of Americans are stressed about the possible outcome of the 2020 Election. Political tensions all over are at an all time high, and some even believe this country is on the verge of another civil war. USA Today has reported on a survey taken by the American Psychological Association’s Stress in America that almost 70% of U.S. adults say the presidential election is a significant source of stress in their lives. That’s a 20% increase compared to the same stress levels from the 2016 election. What is causing so much more stress this election season?
The global pandemic has added to our stress
For a lot of Americans, it doesn’t seem like there is a plan to stop the deadly virus, which makes for tough conversations about family gatherings, holiday celebrations, and being able to hold loved ones. COVID-19 has killed more than 250,000 Americans, which has put fear on the top of most voters’ election ballots in 2020. When voters vote out of fear, it will have a drastic affect on stress or anxiety levels, because you believe the outcome of the election could directly play a part in whether a family member/yourself, lives or dies. The President’s overall lack of urgency when dealing with the Coronavirus has only made things worst for the mental health of a lot of Americans.
But how do we fix it?
Coping with election anxiety throughout the final days of the election cycle will not be easy. The closer we get, the larger that bubble in your stomach gets, and by election night you might feel like you want to throw up. But hang in there, one election won’t be the end of America. If you still need a little guidance as to how to deal with anxiety or stress leading up to November 3rd, here are a few things you can do right now to start relieving some of your election anxiety.
Turn off the TV
Political ads are on every television station known to man right now and there isn’t much you can do to stop them. Billions of dollars are spent on advertising every election cycle, which means you will see multiple political ads on every T.V. station you turn on. If these ads are causing you anxiety, turn them off. As a matter of fact, turn the whole damn TV off! Take a break from the super political pundit shows. They won’t be saying anything new from now till election day, so don’t allow the stress they report into your ethos. If you have to watch TV, put on your favorite drama or comedy and unwind to something that isn’t about voter ballots.
Be mentally prepared for election results
Prepare yourself for a very long election night, that could actually last for weeks. COVID-19, plus the slowing up of mail all across the country will make it difficult for all ballots to be counted on election night. This means the results from the election could take some time. Be prepared to wake up the next day and still not know who the president will be. If by chance we know who the winner is on November 3rd, GREAT. But brace yourself for what could be a long, ugly, grueling fight.
Stop talking about politics
We are in the final stages of this election, stop talking about politics. Many Americans have already voted and most Americans already know who they support, so what’s the point of adding to your stress just to try to convince your friend, who isn’t listening to you anyway, to change his or her’s political views. Why torture yourself? You aren’t convincing anyone to change their views at this stage of the game.
Find things you have in common with folks, then connect on that
When talking to friends or loved ones, find things your can connect on to talk about. Talk about the things you both enjoy and leave the political talk for the candidates and the pundits. Do not allow the things you don’t have in common to out weigh the things you do. Since tensions are so high and the news is so siloed, it’s easy to believe folks don’t have commonalities. That is a bunch of malarky!! Most Americans share common values and that’s what we need to be discussing.
Stop scrolling and trolling
Social media is a major player in election anxiety for many Americans. Scrolling down your twitter or facebook feed and reading opinions and conspiracy theories from you favorite uncle or aunt can be mind dumbing and flat out dangerous. Stop scrolling and trolling folks who don’t agree with your political views. We are too close to election night to bicker about a decision that America will soon make. Close the app, go vote, prepare for the results, and relax. If things don’t go the way you’d like, get involved and make it better in the future.