BALTIMORE (WJZ) — A recent survey from the American Psychological Association, shows 68 percent of American adults are stressed about the upcoming election. To make matters worse, that’s not the only stressor we’re facing.
Sean Streicher spoke with a doctor to find out how to make mental health a top priority as we head towards the holidays.
With all that’s going on in the world, it’s understandable if you’re feeling a little stressed out but there are things you can do to help.
From the global pandemic to the approaching holidays, there’s a lot of reasons to be stressed, but at the top of many people’s list of stressors is the election.
“It’s really been overwhelming for a lot of people,” said Dr. Lauren Grawert, a psychiatrist with Kaiser Permanente.
“I think the polls are reflecting that. I know I saw one recently that said 52% of Americans had a lot of stress in 2016 for that election and that’s up to 68% percent or 2020,” Grawert said.
And depending on whether your preferred candidate wins or loses, she said that stress could continue for weeks, if not months.
“It’s something we call post-election stress disorder. Where folks have very strong emotions and anxiety about the outcome of the election,” she said.
In times like these Dr. Grawert recommends going on what she refers to as a “social media diet.”
“Really limit the amount of intake of your TV watching, Twitter, Facebook because that can be sources of great political unrest,” Dr. Grawert said.
And as the votes are tallied, finding an election dialogue partner may be helpful.
“An election dialogue partner is somebody who is supportive of your thoughts and feelings, is going to help you feel better not worse and they don’t even need to see eye-to-eye with you on the election results,” she added.
This person could be a friend, family member or even a therapist. If you don’t have someone that fits the bill, Grawert recommends journaling to get out your thoughts and feelings.
“Research shows that as effective for relief of anxiety as talking to somebody,” she said.
Grawert said now is a good time to check in with friends and family to make sure they’re doing alright.