Election stress is real. So real that Washington DC-based psychologist Steven Stosny first referred to the phenomenon as “election stress disorder” after the 2016 election. It’s the feeling of being overwhelmed by the “pervasive negativity of the campaigns,” which are “amplified by 24-hour news and social media.” Dr. Ellen Slawsby of Harvard Medical School has witnessed similar political stress in patients and noted that it’s been “more than I’ve ever seen in my 25 years of practice.”
Read more about how Americans have been affected since 2016 and how the 2020 election could further impact our physical and mental health here. At this link, you’ll also find Headspace’s “election collection” of meditations – available for FREE until November 16th.
A few additional resources from this SELF.com article include:
Ten Percent Happier
Their 2020 Election Sanity Guide can be found here: https://www.tenpercent.com/guide
This includes free meditations on resilience and transforming anger.
This BIPOC-owned self-care app has created an interactive election self-care quiz, so readers can get personalized tips and reminders: https://www.theshineapp.com/quiz/start?partner=election
This virtual support app allows readers to join specific themed communities to connect with similar minds. These online communities create safe spaces for discussing election mental health by using filters for feelings (anger, anxiety, helplessness, etc) and needs (navigating family conflicts, stress relief, etc). There’s a 7-day free trial but the membership costs $6/month (or $40/year) after that.
If you’re looking for some practical day-to-day practices and tips, check out this New York Times article, which features quick ideas including:
“As you feel your anxiety level rising, try to practice “self interruption.” Go for a walk. Call a friend, Run an errand. Move your body and become aware of your breathing.”
Look at your feet
A new spin on grounding yourself created by Dr. Judson A. Brewer of the Mindfulness Center at Brown University. “Take a moment to focus on your feet. You can do this standing or sitting, with your feet on the ground. How do they feel? Are they warm or cold? Are they tingly? Moist or dry? Wiggle your toes. Feel the soles of your feet. Feel your heels connecting with your shoes and the ground beneath you.”
Connect with nature
“[C]onsciously taking in the wonders of nature amplifies the mental health benefits of walking.” So wander outside and let your mind wander away from the election.