As a Family Physician I’ve noticed that my patients often feel anxious, nervous and upset during times of political uncertainty. These emotions are not necessarily party-specific. Political uncertainty often increases anxiety and the Election is no different. Regardless of whether you are Democrat or Republican, you probably feel this way.
There are things you can do to take a step back, regroup and hopefully find peace despite this trying time:
1. Acknowledge your feelings.
No matter what you feel right now, it’s okay. Take a moment to acknowledge your feelings and allow yourself to truly “feel.” Denying your emotions will not necessarily help.
2. Talk it out.
Pick up the phone. Send a text. Write an email. Reach out to someone you trust and express how you feel. This can be tremendously helpful.
3. Rethink Social Media
If you find yourself getting into twitter wars or facebook rants, take a step back. Don’t be afraid to limit your time on social media, unfollow those who keep you on edge or hide posts that are too tough to see. Consider taking a break from social media altogether if you need to.
4. 24/7 News
Television news getting you down or riled up? Cut back on your tv watching by setting a schedule for when you will watch tv and when you will turn it off. Stick to your schedule.
5. Avoid Catastrophizing
Whether you are a democrat or a republican, avoid catastrophizing. Trying to "predict the future" is an equally problematic notion. The election process is just that- a process. Stay in the present and avoid envisioning the worse- regardless of what political side you are on.
6. Take care of yourself
Put yourself first. Remember that if you’re not in a good place mentally and physically you won’t be able to be there for the ones you love. Take a mental health day, take your kids to the park- do what you need to do to step back and reconnect with those who fill you up.
I know this is a stressful time for our country, but I believe that we are a strong nation and we will persevere. Look after yourselves and your neighbors and know that this too shall pass.