This is THE WEEK – the most significant week for America. The whole world is watching to see what will happen. Eyes filled with hope are anxiously waiting to see how the election unfolds, signaling our future for the next four years.
The election campaigning has certainly been interesting, frustrating and at times even entertaining. The division and hostility among the candidates have not been easy to watch. As a culture, we lament this, wondering what happened to respect, politeness, and respectfully agreeing to disagree.
A new survey conducted by The Harris Poll on behalf of the American Psychological Association revealed that this upcoming election stress is the most significant source of stress this year. That is saying a lot given that 2020 has been a historical year for having several major stressors all at once – a Global Pandemic, a struggling economy, and deep racial divisions. To say that “navigating these uncertain times has been challenging” is really putting it mildly!
But we do not have to be consumed by this stressful season. We can cope and even thrive in the midst of the uncertainty and strife. Friends, your personal wellbeing and care is not on hold because of this election season!
In fact, here are my top 7 suggestions for reducing your Election Stress:
- Take Action – You feel worse when you feel you don’t have control over things. Take control of what you can. Do important activities immediately. In areas where you have direct control, make decisions in a timely manner instead of procrastinating.
“Our culture teaches us that making significant changes takes a long time and is difficult to do. This is simply NOT true. Change happens in an instant. It is not a process – it is something you do in an instant by simply making a decision.”
- Exercise – Exercise is the best way to release stress from your body. Do your favorite activities daily. Taking a walk outside and being in nature helps to ground you and bring calm to your body.
- Eat well –Nourish your mind and body thru healthy meals that are low in sodium and sugar. The old saying is true: “You are what you eat”. Eating healthy helps you better manage stress, anxiety, and depression.
- Meditation – Even 2-5 minutes of guided meditation can help calm your mind and nerves. You can keep it simple by listening to your favorite music or affirmations. It will help you to focus and be in the present moment.
- Be Optimistic – There are always two options, you have the power of choice on what to focus on. Expend your energy expecting great outcomes. This energy is more positive and expansive.
- News Schedule – Create scheduled times when you will watch the news. Do NOT watch it continuously, it will drive you crazy. Since most of the news is repeating through the day, listen only to those broadcasts in which new information is shared.
- Be connected – Being connected with friends and family during these times can help keep the news cycle and its stressors in perspective. You can also cultivate a group of like-minded peers or friends as a social support system. Make it a place where you can have a regular check in or reach out when your stress level increases.
No single method works for everyone or in every situation, so experiment with these six tips and incorporate your own techniques and strategies to make them your own.
The important thing is that you focus on what makes you feel calm and in control so that you can thrive during this tumultuous season! As you proactively invest in your personal wellbeing and care, you will find your stress melting away.