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Managing Election Stress

November 9, 2016


Many people have found the recent political campaigns and election to be dramatic and emotionally challenging. If you’re experiencing distress or heightened stress here are some things you can do to help yourself feel better:

  • Stick to your routine:
    • Maintaining your regular schedule of activities and taking care of your usual responsibilities can help engage you and reestablish a sense of normalcy and regularity.
  • Take care of yourself:
    • You will feel better if you get enough sleep, eat properly and get regular exercise.
  • Engage in pleasurable and meaningful activities:
    • Take some time to do something you usually enjoy-take a walk, go to a movie, spend time with friends. Doing activities that help or support others can increase your sense of well-being and enhance your optimism.
  • Limit your social media time:
    • Constantly checking news feeds or other social media can increase your tension. Set aside specific times to check news and social media. Too much time online also can interfere with getting enough sleep.
  • Limit substance use:
    • Drinking or partying to feel better might seem to help in the very short run but will leave you feeling depleted and lower.
  • Limit political debate and argument:
    • It’s important to stay engaged and informed in the political process and the news – but keep it in balance. If it is stressing you out, then let some time pass or take a break.
  • Spend time with supportive friends and family:
    • Being with people who care about you can help you feel safe and protected.

If you have tried these steps and are still feeling very stressed, down or despairing, you should consider getting help from a mental health professional. Check out your school counseling service or speak to your healthcare provider or a trusted adult to get connected to care.

If you are feeling like you need immediate help, text “start” to 741-741.

If you are feeling as if you or someone you know is in immediate danger of self-harm, call 911 or go to your nearest hospital emergency room.

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