Republican or Democrat, many people are experiencing post-election anxiety in this country. It doesn’t matter who you voted for—or even if you didn’t vote—the country is undergoing change and change always causes a certain amount of apprehension.
Nor does it matter what your ethnicity is—black, Latino, white—all have some who have found that the election is a source of stress, with communities of color impacted the most. And Millennials are feeling it more than other generations. For those experiencing stress, it’s a problem they can’t escape because political news is ubiquitous.
Never mind if you don’t follow President Trump on Twitter. You are bound to see retweets everywhere. And responses to those retweets. Every social medium is clogged with political news and stories that are not news, but manufactured. Stories conjured up to manipulate your brain. Click bait that plays you for a sucker. And your television blares some new disquieting story every nanosecond.
If you’re feeling anxious and overwhelmed, you’re not alone.
There is an element of the unknown for all sorts of people. Worries about possible changes in your life can cause stress. The first thing to do is determine if you are suffering from post-election anxiety.
Here are some signs that you are being affected by stress:
Uncontrollable thoughts that keep playing over and over
Aggressive or angry behavior
Alcohol or substance abuse
Overwhelming guilt or shame
Once you have determined the cause of your anxiety, you are on firmer footing for finding a remedy. Give yourself permission to take a vacation from keeping up with the news. Limit your exposure to social media and cable news. Google how to determine if a news source is credible so you can reduce your chances of being unduly concerned about things that aren’t true.
Reach out to real people, real time, who are feeling like you are. Find a friend who can validate your experience. Talk about what you can do to mitigate your suffering. Maybe you can join a group that’s taking action. Call your congressperson. Donate to a cause you believe in, with your time or your money or both.
Or maybe you need to take a rest and watch a good movie. Read a good book. Create some art. Take a walk in the woods. Go to the beach. Nourish your brain with the beauty that is all around you. Above all, do not suffer needlessly. If you continue to experience stress, find a therapist who can help.
Nancy Travers is an Orange County Counseling professional. If you need safe, effective counseling services, please get in touch. You can reach her at 949-510-9423 or here: https://nancyscounselingcorner.com/contact-us.