Kelly Stavrides, MsED
The 2020 election has been difficult for many people this year, no matter what candidate you prefer or what your political party is. In addition to the usual anxiety around elections, we are also dealing with COVID-19 and concerns about our safety with voting. Increased unhappiness after an election, especially in voters who supported the losing candidate, is a well-documented phenomenon. Interesting, studies have found that voters who supported the winning candidate did not have an increase in mood after the election. No matter what candidate you are supporting, there are ways to deal with post-election anxiety and sadness.
Make sure to meet physical needs and take care of yourself. Feeling physically unwell will only increase anxiety and sadness. Make sure you are still sleeping enough, eating healthy foods, taking any prescribed medications, and being active
Stay off social media. Social media can be a great way to connect with others and entertain yourself, but it can also lead to an increase in anxiety. This is especially true if friends in your social media feed are expressing their anxiety and sadness.
Decrease news and media intake. Staying informed is great, but listening to pundits and journalists analyze the election and its aftermath can be very anxiety provoking. Especially as the news outlets aren’t saying anything new.
Don’t ruminate or overanalyze. Ruminating means analyzing past experiences or events over and over again, and the events that are ruminated over are often negative. Constantly turning something over, such as the number of remaining votes or eventual outcome, in your head will only increase anxiety. No amount of analyzing or turning over past events will change what has already happened.
Try and find the positive. Focusing on the positive will help alleviate anxiety and sadness. Did a local politician you support win? A family member who has never voted before voted in this election? Did you just get a new job or a raise at work?
Above all, remember to take care of yourself and try to find the positive in your everyday life.