(WXYZ) – Post-election stress is very real but you won’t find it in any diagnostic manual. Many Americans have been dealing with emotions like grief, anxiousness, anger and hopelessness since the outcome of the election.
The outcome of the election means different things to different people, but you know you’re suffering with post-election stress disorder if you’re experiencing emotional or physical distress. Are you having trouble focusing or can’t sleep? You could experience heart palpitations, tension, upset stomach, loss of appetite or irritability. Your emotions can range from feeling blue to outright anger and include fear, crying and anxiety.
To deal with it, you want to focus on what you can control, like your choices, intentions and behaviors. Practice compassion towards yourself and to others. Make a list of what you appreciate in life. This can put you in a more positive frame of mind.
Relaxation techniques are very effective in managing anxiety and stress. When you feel your stress levels rise, take a break. Try deep breathing techniques, hypnosis or meditation. You can also go for a walk, listen to music or exercise. Any of these will lower anger or frustration and help to clear your head.
Here are other steps you can take to lower your post-election stress:
1. Avoid the news late at night or before bed
It can trigger worry and negative thoughts, keeping you from a good night’s sleep.
2. Limit your conversations about politics
This may help avoid heated discussions which can fuel your stress.
3. Contribute to worthy organizations
Focus on ones you feel passionate about – who are supporting and leading social justice work.
4. Take action
Consider getting civically engaged, do charity work, engage in acts of kindness or join a movement.
Keep an empowered attitude and this can help you during difficult situations.
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