Ask Dr. Nandi: How to effectively deal with post-election stress

Posted at 6:51 PM, Nov 04, 2020

As we wait to find out who the next President of The United States will be, many are feeling anxious and stressed. There are effective ways to deal with these emotions,

It’s called Election Stress Disorder. And while it’s not an official term, it helps to put a name to the emotions many folks are feeling right now because of this historical and very intense presidential race.

I know many folks, including some of my patients, are walking around a bundle of nerves. And this can certainly have an emotional and physical effect on one's body. You can suffer from irritability, depression, anxiety, and extreme stress. Panic attacks, difficulty sleeping, and trouble concentrating are also signs of Election Stress Disorder.

There are many things people can do - but here are my favorite tips I want to share:

1. Number one, turn your stress into productivity. An example is tackling that never-ending to-do list. Once tasks are complete, you’ll feel more in control and upbeat.

2. Next, curb the amount of media you consume. Constant exposure can increase anxiety and increase your stress levels.

3. Also, get moving. Boost your dopamine levels and your mood with just 3 minutes of moderate to intense exercise. Of course, exercise longer if you can.

4. Also, spend time in nature. Studies have shown quiet time in green spaces or tree-lined paths can improve mental health.

5. And lastly, talk to family and friends. Chose loved ones you know will listen and be supportive.

Family is so important. I call them my Tribe and they are my world.

So I would really encourage folks to have a meaningful exchange and a productive conversation with each other. Reign in any frustration or anger. We all know getting into a heated discussion will not help. In my opinion, the best way to respond is with compassion. If you can’t do that, you may need to set boundaries around these types of political discussions.