How to deal with election anxiety

Arizona Election
Posted at 11:21 AM, Oct 15, 2020
and last updated 2020-10-15 14:29:33-04

If this upcoming election has you feeling anxious, you aren’t alone.

A new survey by the American Psychological Association found 68% of Americans say this election is a significant source of stress in their life. That’s up from 52% in the 2016 Presidential Election.

With negative advertisements and posts online, doctors say it’s normal to feel a heightened sense of anxiety during this time and they have some ways to help you cope.

Dr. Elizabeth Rice with Southwest College of Naturopathic Medicine Medical Center says limit how much time you spend on social media and make an effort to spend time outdoors every day.

She also recommends eating right, getting enough sleep, exercising regularly, and learning to manage your stress in a healthy manner.

“This may be starting something like a mindfulness practice or learning a deep breathing technique and starting to use these throughout the day on a consistent basis,” Dr. Rice said. “It might even go so far as recommending counseling to an individual so they can truly learn how to manage their thoughts and manage their stress.”

Dr. Rice says if you have family members or friends with opposing viewpoints, be upfront with them about what you are and aren’t comfortable with discussing.

She says it’s best to bring that up before an argument ensues.

“Maybe it might be as simple as, 'I don’t wish to discuss politics at dinner tonight,'” she said “Or, 'if we are going to discuss politics, I’m going to excuse myself from the room because I want to preserve the relationship or be OK in our relationship.'”