For many of us, the election is heavy on our minds this week. In fact, according to the American Psychological Association, 68% of adults surveyed state that the upcoming election is “a significant source of stress in their life.”

If you’ve been experiencing stress related to the political climate, it may be time to make some changes.

A good first step in this is to manage your news and social media intake. While it can feel tempting to be as informed as possible, constantly checking in on the news can add to our distress.

Set boundaries to limit the time that you are accessing news, perhaps only checking in once a day for a set amount of time, turning off push-notifications and temporarily delete social media apps from your phone.

Replace the time that you would typically spend scrolling with activities that help you to feel good, such as exercise, meditation, engaging in creative endeavors or practicing a hobby that you enjoy.

Make time to connect with those you care about, as it is important to be able to discuss how you are feeling with others, and to decrease feelings of loneliness and isolation.

Find a way to express your emotions, like journaling. Studies show that journaling for 20 minutes a day can lead to less symptoms of anxiety and depression, and can also help us to shift our negative thought patterns to more helpful and healthy ways of thinking.

During times of stress, we can also engage in negative thought patterns in which we forecast that the worst case scenario will happen.

If you experience this, be sure to identify that this is what is happening, for example, thinking “I am having a worst-case scenario thought”, and work to provide more helpful and healthy thoughts that are based in the present, for example, thinking “I cannot know that the worst thing will happen, and I am safe in this moment.”

It can also be helpful to remember what is within our control, and what isn’t. While the outcome of the electoral process may not be within your grasp to control, you can make a plan to ensure that you vote, advocate for causes that you believe in, or volunteer within your community to help to create the change that you would like to see.

This is a challenging time for all of us, so please don’t hesitate to reach out if you need support. I can be reached by calling the Telluride Medical Center at 970-728-3848, or if you are a patient of Telluride Medical Center, by messaging me through the Telluride Medical Center portal.

If you are experiencing a mental health crisis, please call The Center for Mental Health’s crisis line at 970.252.6220.

Be well,

Lindsay Wright

Lindsay Wright | Behavioral Health
Telluride Medical Center