Blog Post

Navigating Anxiety During Election Season

Yes, it is here … Election Season!! Since there is no way to escape the season, we are providing you with ways to best navigate your anxious thoughts and feelings associated with the upcoming election. Election season brings up many controversial topics and can often heighten one’s anxiety levels. Anxiety is impactful and widespread affecting mental health and daily life functioning. Let’s look to gain a greater understanding of the sources of this anxiety and identify strategies, tools, and techniques to help navigate this challenging season.

Sources of Election-Related Anxiety

  • Excessive Media Overload: The election season brings forth an excessive amount of news coverage, social media debates, and political advertisements that can feel overwhelming and stressful. There is an exorbitant amount of information and opinions that can create a sense of fear and urgency.
  • Political Division: Increasing political polarization often leads to hostile and contentious conversations leading to negative impacts on relationships. The fear of uncomfortable conflicts, both virtually and in-person, adds to the stress.
  • Uncertainty of the Outcome: Questions arise about how the outcome of the elections will affect you and your family members, such as: “Will we be able to afford healthcare?” The uncertainty surrounding education, financial security, civil rights, and other various aspects of life amplifies anxiety.
  • Personally Invested: For many individuals, the outcome of an election can feel very personal. The desire for a specific result can heighten emotional distress, especially when faced with the possibility of an unfavorable outcome. Unpleasant and uncomfortable emotions arise along with feelings of distrust towards the political system. On the other hand, if the outcome is favorable, feeling like you must avoid this topic around members in your circle that were hoping for a different outcome.

Managing Election-Related Anxiety

  • Limit Media Engagement: Set yourself boundaries of when and how much time to spend watching or listening to media coverage about the election to prevent overload. This should include T.V., all social media platforms: i.e. Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, etc.
  • Maintain Social Connections: Stay connected to your friends, family members, church leaders, and colleagues for support. Share your concerns with individuals that you can trust to provide you with emotional relief and a sense of community.
  • Set Self-Care Routines: Engage in hobbies, exercise, meditation, and relaxation techniques such as deep breathing exercises to promote health well-being. Establish a regular routine in physical activity and mindfulness practices to reduce your stress levels.
  • Stay Active: Focus on being active in your community through volunteering in events and causes that you’re passionate about. Remaining proactive will mitigate feelings of helplessness.
  • Self-Education: Anxiety can sometimes stem from the unknown. Educate yourself about the electoral process, key issues, and candidates’ policies. Avoid relying on family and friends to be your resources. Find reputable and trusting resources to provide you with the information you are seeking. Knowledge can empower you to feel in control and make informed decisions. 
  • Limit Political Conversations: Establish boundaries of when and how much to engage in conversations associated with political views and the election. It’s okay and strongly suggested to divert conversations to other positive topics when you are beginning to feel anxious and overwhelmed.
  • Practice Gratitude: Practice being grateful for daily blessings by writing them in your journal or creating a gratitude jar. Reflecting on positive aspects of your life will help foster an optimistic outlook.

Anxiety Treatment in California

It’s imperative to maintain a positive perspective during this election year and accept the uncertainty. Understanding that political outcomes are significant but they are not the sole determinants of one’s well-being. Focus on aspects of your life that you can control and embrace the uncertainty.

Election seasons are stressful, yet understanding the sources of anxiety and utilizing strategies to manage it can make a significant difference. We encourage you to seek professional help when needed to help you further navigate and support you with increased resilience. Prioritize your overall well-being and do self-check-ins with what you need.

 

Our skilled therapists are ready to support you to explore alternative ways to lessen your anxiety during this election year. We are here to remind you that you are not alone. Please contact our office at 714-617-5955 or schedule an appointment directly through our website: www.nurturingconnectionscounseling.com. Our therapists are compassionate and genuinely demonstrate their care.

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