Is the election hurting your mental health? An expert weighs in
Less than 30 days out from one of the most divisive elections in American history, stress and anxiety around politics is an an all-time high. Yahoo Life Mental Health Contributor, Jen Harstein, says that it’s important to become aware of how your mental health could be taking a toll this election season.
“Even for those of us who have been part of many elections and voted many different times, this is something none of us have ever experienced,” she says.
Hartstein says one of the most important things you can do is create set times during the day to unplug. “We live in a 24 hour news cycle, and the news is coming at us all the time, and it’s intense,” Hartstein explains. “That doesn’t do such great things for our body’s ability to calm down, reset and relax.”
Setting boundaries with your family and friends may be necessary for the first time for many, which is an uncomfortable thing to cope with. “You have every right to set the limits that work for you, and if that doesn’t work for all the people in your lives, figure out who it works for and stick with those people,” she says. “This is going to be a challenging two months for many, so you want to make sure that you are feeling OK and taking care of yourself the best way possible, even if that means limiting some conversations with other people.”
While we cope with election stress, it’s a good time to check back in with your values as a guide to live by, and to reset your self care routine so that you’re approaching life with as much positivity as possible.