Breaking the Stigma: Coping with Election Day stress

Channel 11 is “Breaking the Stigma” when it comes to talking about mental health. And Election Day is a great time to talk about recognizing when anxiety can impact us all.

Most of us know limiting time on social media can help us deal with anxiety over the next few days. But there are some other ways to deal with whatever happens today.

According to a recent survey commissioned by the American Psychological Association, 76% of Americans report the future of the country is a significant source of stress in their lives. Inflation is a source of stress for 83% of adults.

Channel 11 spoke to Dr. Stephanie Romero, the executive director of Awaken Pittsburgh, an organization that teaches people in western Pennsylvania to deal with everyday stress by doing practices like mindfulness and meditation.

She said one simple thing you can do is recognize there’s only so much you can control.

“I can only vote. One vote. I can really only control how I vote, although maybe it’s in my control to talk to my neighbors, or take my elderly parents to the polls to make sure they’re voting,” she said. “Beyond that, we really just have to name for ourselves that those things of how everyone else is voting… in other states… that really isn’t within our control.”

Another thing you can do if you’re stressed is breathe.

Take a moment, breathe in for four counts, hold it for four counts, breathe out for four counts, and hold it for four counts. Then repeat.

You can also take a few minutes and just concentrate on what’s around you and recognize it, using all of your five senses.

And if you’re trying these things and you’re still feeling a lot of stress, don’t feel ashamed to reach out for professional help.