Here's help with managing the stress of politics today.
The natural stresses of day to day life can be greatly exacerbated by political stress. That’s right- political stress exists and can be defined as the losing of sleep over, feeling fatigued by, or anxiety due to increasing political news or lack of political action. One American Psychological Association survey found 70% of adults were experiencing political stress before, during, or after the 2020 election, which is higher than the 2016 election.
If you have feelings of stress, anxiety, powerlessness, or uncertainty lingering from the 2020 election, you are not alone! Here are some tips to help you cope and get beyond today’s political climate:
Set boundaries with your intake of political information to gain power over your exposure. Especially when political tensions are high, it is easy to keep scrolling or refreshing news pages. One job seeker described a feeling of not being able to take their eyes away from the TV during the processing of election results after election night. This, the job seeker said, contributed to headaches, sore eyes, and high-tension conversations with their significant other. Setting limitations on your news can not only help with anxiety but also assist with sleeping better through the night. If you do choose to participate, I suggest reading content as opposed to watching, as visuals have a greater impact on our emotional well-being.
Step away from conversations involving politics or election news if it becomes overwhelming. Recognizing your political points of tension can generate a self-care routine of protecting your emotional and mental health from polarizing conversations. Don’t feel guilty for not participating in political talk.
Coping as a person of color with political racial trauma can include creating space to talk about your feelings, connecting with those who are supportive of those feelings, practicing self-care, engaging in activism, and understanding your political triggers. Election outcomes have different implications for different groups of people, with particular stress for marginalized groups; thus, we can all be more supportive of the political stress others are going through.
Perhaps most importantly, practice self-care like engaging in activities that are meaningful to you, getting outside, centering yourself on what you can control, and noticing when political stress is impacting you. One skill I have worked with job seekers on is creating affirmations for news balance, such as: “accessing technology is no longer my default activity,” “not everything needs to be instant,” or “I foster values of health, safety, and balance when engaging with the internet.”
The Daily Work community is always here to help unload some of that political stress by assisting with the creation of long-lasting career skills, increasing your protective factors such as stable employment, or establishing relations with community resources that outlast political outcomes. Consider giving us a call or donating so we can continue to support people encountering stressors such as this.