How to avoid your election day worries

Owen Keyhen, a writer and historian in Chicago, is losing sleep in the election. About five times a week in the last few months, he panics at around 3 a.m., he said.

Mr. Keenen, 60, said, “As the election draws closer, I feel more and more anxious.” “There is a lot in elections when it comes to rights and everything else,” he said. It really wreaks havoc on my sleep. “

About 800 miles west of West Columbia, SC, Monica L. So far this election season Amik-Cassidy, a former state employee, managed her anxiety, which she says relieves her depression.

Ms. Emic-Cassidy 45, said she feels the most stress when scrolling through Facebook, where she picks up stories from her local news station.

“I tried to put my phone down and get away from it and read or weave, but reading Facebook and Twitter is almost an addiction,” she said.

Mr. Keenen and Ms. Emic-Cassidy are not alone in managing the stress of this electoral cycle, only the reality amplified by the coronovirus epidemic.

In 2011, nearly two-thirds of Americans said concern about the nation’s future was an important source of their stress on money and work, according to a report published that year by the American Psychological Association “Tension in America: The State of Our Nation. “

The poll found that the majority of people in both political parties insisted it was described as a “current social divide”, but for Democrats the figure was 73 percent, with Republicans at 56 percent and Independents were at 59 percent. .

2019 study in PLOS ONE It has been shown that getting involved in politics can have negative consequences on one’s health and friendship. The study found that people with political authority reported fewer negative effects than those on the left.

Researchers found that of the 800 people surveyed, about 18 percent said politics had lost them sleep and more than 29 percent said they had lost their temper due to politics. More than 11 percent said politics had adversely affected their physical health and more than 26 percent said they were depressed when they lost a favorite candidate.

And now, here it is: Election Day 2020. after Billions of dollars spent on publicity In a particularly elevated and stress-filled year, after all, there is an end in sight.

But, he Previous elections in the United States do not close until 1 p.m., And yet there are many scenarios under which we may not know the result after some time. So here are some tips on how to survive for several hours between now and then, no matter which candidate you are pulling for.

You can be like Ms. Emic-Cassidy – reading the news on your phone, and then sometimes feeling more stressed about it. Reconsider just how much you want to stick to your device, especially on election day.

Allison Emden, an associate professor of communications at Michigan State University, said it’s important to focus on the election results, setting the necessary boundaries can help you. He suggested removing social media apps like Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and Tickcock from your phone. Making them just a little harder to use can help.

“You’ll have to use it through a website or some readily available device,” she said of the apps. “But if you remove the logo from your phone, you are less likely to click on it.” He said eliminating information can help reduce stress.

The same goes for your television. Keeping cable news in the background throughout the day, when there are no results to report, can just cause you even more stress.

“Sometimes it’s even harder for people to know they have a problem until they start checking how much time they’re spending” consuming news on their phones or watching on television, Professor Aiden he said.

Many hours will have to be filled before any results can come.

Professor Emden suggested the changing environment as a means of controlling one’s anxiety. “You can have people who can tell you what’s going on,” she said. “You can see people for an election night party and then you turn it off after they leave.”

You can try to keep your phone in a separate room, in the hope that exhaustion will overcome the desire to check the news.

Dr., a senior neuropsychologist at Lenox Hill Hospital in Manhattan. Brittany Lemonda suggested that you usually spend hours reading articles or reading news that make you happy. “Take a long walk or watch movies that make you feel good,” she said. “Go to a bookstore, and read a new book. Go out to a café and have a socially disordered lunch; Something that is going to fill your cup a little. “

Okay, you’ve made it through most of the day and some returns have started around 7 pm Eastern time, when some first elections are close.

It is important not to expect any full results for several reasons, but mainly because the increase in mail voting as a result of the epidemic Full results may be delayed in many major states. Some states, such as Michigan and Pennsylvania, may not have an official count for several days.

And remember, at the end and beginning of the night the results will be skewed in some places as different types of votes are indicated in this sequence.

Even if you’ve got through the day, even if your stress doesn’t disappear.

“It will be a roller coaster,” said Dr. Psychiatrist of Northwell Health Hospital on Long Island. Said Victor Fornari. “Those feelings will be long-lived. Uncertainty gives rise to anxiety. I think it will be a very worrying time because people, as I said, are very excited one way or the other, and the level of anxiety is going to cause a lot of stress. “

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