You know that sinking feeling in your chest you feel whenever you think about the future of our great nation? Yeah. That’s election stress.
It may not be very well known, but it’s very real.
Dr. Asim Shah, vice chair for community psychiatry at Baylor College of Medicine in Houston says symptoms of “election stress” include: shortness of breath, sweaty palms, heart palpitations, trouble sleeping, loss of appetite, and a sinking or doomed feeling, with the cause being this circus of an election showdown.
According to the American Psychological Association, “52 percent of American adults report that the 2016 election is a very or somewhat significant source of stress.”
And this affliction doesn’t know party lines! “Those registered as Democrats (55 percent) and Republicans (59 percent) are statistically equally likely to say the election is a very or somewhat significant source of stress.”
Think about it, your political views and this election are putting stress on your relationships- whether they be work or personal, they’re affecting your love life, and they’re even affecting how much pizza we eat!
Earlier this week, the CEO of Papa Murphy’s Take N’ Bake Pizzas blamed their third quarter losses on the high cost of advertising during election season. Higher ad prices means less ads airing means less pizza being consumed! Think of the pizza…
So what can you do to combat the feeling of impending doom?
- First things first…turn off the TV!!
That doesn’t mean going on a total news blackout, it just means being selective about your media. Perhaps read your news instead of watch it (like the olden days!), researchers say watching the news gives you a more emotional response as compared to reading it. Plus, you need to tune out every once in a while.
- Remember that little will change overnight
Think of the lame duck period. Nothing much is going to change in the days after the election. Don’t stress about something that isn’t even a reality! 2017 on the other hand….
Ok, this is my own advice. Light up a relaxation candle or light a fire in the fireplace and curl up on the couch with some Netflix and your favorite glass of vino. Works every time!
I know I personally will be at home on election night in social media seclusion. I'm going to go on with my day, avoid social media and the news, and wake up Wednesday morning to the results. That way I don't agonize over the polls.
Remember, we WILL get through this. And God Bless America!