Election Anxiety

Stressed by the Election? Here's What Medical Experts Say You Should Do

For starters, take a break from social media, they say

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Have you been overwhelmed with anxiety ahead of Election Day? You are not alone.

People across the country are saying that the 2020 presidential election has been a significant source of stress in their lives. Experts have dubbed this “Election Stress Disorder.”

“There’s the dilemma between: Is it going to stay like this and we’re going to have figure out how to survive and stay in survival mode, or are things actually going to get better and we can finally breathe again," therapist Lisa Ibekwe said.

Instead of focusing on what you can't control, Ibekwe encourages people to stay present. To achieve this, medical experts recommend taking a break from social media and even the news.

“People need to limit their access to media, social media because the results are going to come out and it diverts vital energy away from other parts of their life," said Dr. Manuel Pacheco, a psychiatrist at Tufts Medical Center.

Though the current political climate can cause stress and anxiety as Americans wait for an outcome in the presidential election, Pacheco warns that obsessing over the results can be harmful.

The divide in the nation, exacerbated by a pandemic that physically keeps people apart, can make it difficult to find common ground on social justice issues and politics in general, voters said.

“I never thought science would become politicized. And we can see right now our nation is divided pretty evenly," Mike Brewer of Thermo Fisher Scientific said.

“We live in a bubble here and it’s so different when you leave Boston and Massachusetts," Teacher Ralle Holt said. "The divide is sad. It’s hard. I don’t know how we’re all going to get back together.”

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