Addressing Election Day anxiety

You might be feeling anxiety similar to the how the word is defined in the Merriam-Webster Dictionary: “apprehensive uneasiness or nervousness usually over an impending or anticipated ill.” Or perhaps you have an anxiety disorder as defined in the DSM-5, or anxiety brought about by trauma. In any case, you may be feeling a lot of anxiety surrounding the upcoming Election Day.

If so, you’re in good company. Election Day 2020 is shaping up to be one of the most contentious elections ever, with heated rhetoric sounding more and more extreme. This caps a year that has already been frightening due to the COVID-19 pandemic, economic instability, police killings and the uprisings in response to them, and natural disasters that many link to climate change.

I found a great article in The Mighty that shares excellent ideas on how to avoid the feelings of anxiety associated with the heated rhetoric of this election. The article is geared toward trauma survivors, but I believe that the article provides solid advice for anyone feeling any sort of anxiety as a result of the current political climate.

Also, if you have had traumatic experiences in your life, it is possible that you might be feeling the effects more than you might realize. If you see yourself being described in the article I’ve linked, you might want to consider therapy as an option for addressing it. My website talks more about how I work with survivors of trauma, and it will also tell you how to take the first steps towards healing if you decide to do so.

Having recently voted early myself, I can say that voting is one way to address Election Day anxiety, and to exert some control over events that you fear might be spinning out of control. If you haven’t made a plan to vote yet, please do so at https://myvote.wi.gov/en-us/

UPDATE 11/4/20 – So this election is turning out to be a nailbiter, with no clear idea what the results might be.  Do check out the Mighty article I referenced above for ideas on how to deal with any anxiety you might be feeling about these uncertain times.

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