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7 Tips for Navigating the 2020 Election Season

By: Karen Thompson, LMSW, CEAP, CAADC, SAP, EAC Clinical Specialist –

Relentless TV ads, social media posts, and election yard signs popping up on neighbor’s lawns are all reminding us that it is election season. According to a survey by the American Psychological Association, 52% of adults identified the last presidential election in 2016 as a significant stressor.

The political campaign season tends to highlight the polarization among voters in the US. While it is not a formal psychological diagnosis, therapists have coined the term “Election Stress Disorder” to describe the negative impacts of a divisive election season on the human psyche. The combination of the COVID-19 pandemic and a divisive election season, will undoubtedly, make this year especially challenging.

Here are 7 tips for navigating the 2020 election season:

  1. Set Boundaries. It is important not to get too consumed by the political news cycle. Read just enough to stay informed but maintain balance.
  2. Take a Break from Social Media. Allow yourself time to disconnect.
  3. Avoid Catastrophic Thinking related to the outcome of the election
  4. Limit your Consumption of TV news.
  5. Avoid Politically Charged Conversations at Work or with Family. Agree to disagree.
  6. Turn your Attention Elsewhere. Spend time doing things you enjoy such as hobbies, cooking, or spending time outdoors.
  7. Exercise Good Self-Care. Do things that promote calmness and lessen stress such as daily meditations, listening to music, or reading a good book.

If the stress of this season feels overwhelming at times, contact EAC to speak with a professional counselor for support with managing stress and navigating this challenging time.

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