Feeling Post-Election Stress? Here Are Ways To Cope.

Individual Counseling Insights brought to you by California Psychotherapeutic Resources, Inc.

An election, and dealing with the results of an election, is — as they say in a catch phrase of our times — complicated. But there’s more than a little truth in this simple statement. Cathy Casata, writing for Healthline.com, touches on some of the complications. “Post-election anxiety can be particularly difficult for people when the candidate they supported doesn’t win. In fact, they may face even more strain on their mental health if they live in a state that supported their candidate.”

Election poster

Unfortunately, things haven’t been getting better. “In fact,” says Casata, “a survey conducted by The Harris Poll on behalf of the American Psychological Association (APA) reported that 68 percent of adults in the United States said that the 2020 election is a significant source of stress in their lives. Only 52 percent said the same about the 2016 election.”

Calling on advice from a variety of psychologists, Casata offers the following advice to cope with post-election stress:

  • Stay connected
  • Write down your thoughts
  • Pay attention to your body and mind
  • Embrace what’s in your control
  • Limit news
  • Parent with empathy
  • Move on

There is plenty of other evidence that post-election stress is widespread. Allyson Chiu, writing for WashingtonPost.com, quotes the clinic director at the University of Pennsylvania’s Center for the Treatment and Study of Anxiety: “When faced with overwhelming stress, it’s common to want to shut down, disconnect and ‘bury your head in the sand.’ “

She says that, in essence, we need a post-election detox. As with a physical detox, though, there are guidelines to do it properly. Such as:

  • Don’t think of an election detox as a total purge
  • Take stock of your existing habits
  • Reevalute how you approach, consume media
  • Focus on personal relationships
  • Channel anxious energy into productive activities

If you’re feeling anxiety about life post-election, read more from Casata here and more from Chiu here.