How to Cope with Election-Related Anxiety

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After months of watching debates and listening to campaigns, it’s almost time to vote for our new president. No matter who you are voting for, watching the candidates duke it out on stage is stressful. Some voters are reportedly turning to alcohol or binge-eating to deal, but thankfully there are natural methods to handle what most Americans are facing-- election-related anxiety. 

Bastyr University’s chair and associate professor of the Department of Counseling and Health Psychology, David Shen-Miller, PhD, recommends a few healthy coping methods:

  • Rely on your existing support systems of friends and family – talking about your stress can be really helpful in relieving election-related anxiety
  • Limit media exposure – people who are more dialed-in to social media have more distress in their lives. Avoid checking social media first thing in morning, and before you go to bed, to keep your mind off the election.
  • While at work, avoid/limit talking about the election as it may increase stress at work. Talking about the election distracts you from work and might cause co-workers to have negative experiences if opinions vary.
  • There is a lot out of our control, but one thing we can control is our vote – get out and vote – every vote counts.
  • Pay more attention to your pet! Having a pet has been shown to lower heart rate, extend cardiovascular health and increase life expectancy.
  • Finally, make healthier choices in your everyday life, such as exercising on a daily basis, getting enough sleep, eating a healthy diet, spending quality time with family, friends, and pets, going to a therapist, and getting outside to enjoy nature.

-By Bastyr Department Chair and Associate Professor of the Department of Counseling and Health Psychology, David Shen-Miller, PhD



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