EYEWITNESS NEWS (WBRE/WYOU) — With four days before the election, candidates aren’t the only ones feeling the pressure. Voters are dealing with it, too, and that pressure can be harmful to your well-being.
Whether it’s on your computer, tv, or even your phone, there’s no escaping those political ads.
It’s difficult to dodge the texts, too, not to mention political mail.
It’s all feeding into plenty of election anxiety. A survey commissioned by the American Psychological Association finds two-thirds of American adults consider the election a significant source of stress.
“I, I’m not surprised at all,” said Stan Spolowich, of White Haven.
Stan Spolowich says the midterm election adds to what’s been an especially stressed-out society since the start of the pandemic.
“Well, you’ve got so many major issues. You’ve got inflation for one. That’s got to impact most of the people,” stated Stan Spolowich of White Haven.
Others blame the anxiety on political divisiveness.
“It should be a time where we are coming together discussing things and working on problems so people aren’t feeling as stressed,” said Casey Crocker, Mountain Top.
Hiller asks, “What should we do if we find ourselves feeling those feelings?”
“I am so glad that you asked that question,” Dr. Atkisson replied.
Psychiatrist Debra Atkisson, MD, is the Regional Medical Director for Connections Wellness Group and she says the first thing to do is acknowledge the election is bothering you.
“And if I find myself ruminating about the elections, that’s a sign that I need to pull myself off of my media feed,” explained Dr. Atkinsson.
Another way you may consider coping with election stress is drinking. No, not that way. This way. Dr. Atkisson says staying hydrated can certainly help.
She says it’s an active way to mindfully take care of yourself. Another way? Intentional breathing.
“You take literally up to five minutes or less when you take in a breath and hold it then you release the breath equally and hold it,” Dr. Atkinsson added.
Exercise helps, too. And if that doesn’t work, just turn it all off.
Hiller asks, “Do you ever feel like you just need to click the remote and shut off the tv?”
“I do (laughs),” June Kennedy of Zion Grove answered.
Hiller says, “That’s bad in my line of business,” to which Kennedy responded, “Well.. (laughs).”
The American Psychological Association says if you feel anxious because some outcomes are not known on election night, keep busy with things you enjoy.
Also, stay connected to social support so that you’re not checking on what you may perceive as “bad news.”