Everywhere you look, feelings of anxiety and uncertainty are sky high. A study by the American Psychological Association shows that nearly 70% of Americans say that the presidential election has been a source of significant stress.
Many of us are describing 2020 as the worst year in memory, as we deal with a pandemic, natural disasters, and racial unrest. The presidential election — which has caused widespread fear and divisiveness – undoubtedly adds to the weight of an already heavy year.
Experts say anxiety is normal and can even be a useful response in certain situations, especially when the feeling is used to overcome something adverse or challenging. But when anxiety becomes consuming and prolonged, it becomes unhealthy.
Given everything we’re going through, self-care and a routine to maintain your mental, physical and emotional health, should be a priority.
Here are some tips to help relieve your stress:
- Avoid ‘doom scrolling’ – take a break from social media and stop watching the endless news cycle.
- Get some exercise! Get outside and go for a long walk; do an online yoga or an aerobics class.
- Get into a creative project that requires your full attention, like painting or playing an instrument.
- If you have a group chat with friends, schedule a time for a dance party
- If you’re able, take a day off from work or even a few hours to treat yourself to a mental health break.
- Volunteer – helping others often creates a sense of well-being
Dare to hope! Hope is an important part of maintaining mental health yet some people have been saying that with everything going on, they are too afraid to hope. Decades of research show that hope provides resilience against things like anxiety, depression, and suicidal ideas.
So, have a little hope and while you’re at it, bake cookies with your family or meet up for a socially distanced walk with a friend. In short – do what you need to do to take care of yourself in these challenging times!
Question: What advice do you have for others who are feeling stressed?