Election anxiety? Here’s how to cope – WNEM

SAGINAW, Mich. (WNEM) -If the elections have you stressed, experts say that is normal. Election Stress Disorder is real and is heightened on election day.

“The issues this year are very personal issues, passionate issues and I think people get very involved with those issues when they can identify with it” said  Dexter Clarke, Director of faith-based and community engagement at Genesee Health Systems. “And we have a lot of things on the ballot that people can identify with.”

Clarke says because of that personal connection, many people may feel stress around elections.

A recent survey from the American Psychological Association shows 66% of adults say the current political climate is a significant source of stress in their lives.

“Just with all these different incidents that it has caused people to be very stressful” said Clarke. “Some people are very leery about whether or not it’s going to be a fair election. But we have to realize the best thing you can do is exercise your right to vote.”

Victoria Kwater with Tri County mental health says over consumption of social media can generate stress and you have to know when to unplug.

“I feel like it’s so much information out there right now” said  Victoria Kwater Licensed Master Social Worker, Tri-County Mental Health.

“Good information, bad information, information that’s just negative in nature. It’s difficult to sort out what’s fact and what’s maybe stretched a little bit.”

Kwater says that if you find yourself constantly worrying, feeling a lack of control, or just anxious about the outcome there are things you can do.

“Making sure you give yourself enough time” Kwater said. “Also making sure you know what’s on the ballot before you step foot into the door.”

“Look at something else” said Clarke. “Look at a movie or something, a comedy or something just to take your mind off it because like I said it’s a very passionate, very emotional time with the midterms and you don’t want to get all stressed out about that.

Experts say doing anything you enjoy such as listening to music, being with family and taking walks are other ways to manage anxiety during this time.