Elections Are About Mental Health: Can Politics Cause Depression?

An American Psychological Association survey reveals that more than 68% of US individuals say that the 2020 US presidential election is a significant cause of stress in their lives, ahead of the most acrimonious election in a decade. Many people feel overburdened, nervous, furious, and occasionally helpless in the current socioeconomic atmosphere because social inequities and systemic racism are being brought to light in such a stark way.

It would be unpleasant in any situation, but this one involves a pandemic, uncertainty about the economy, and physical separation. We acknowledge that many of us and others we care about on campus may find the election season to be particularly difficult this year and that individuals who identify with historically marginalised populations may be feeling the burden of these problems the most keenly.

 

The UC Berkeley community’s mental health and wellness will be actively improved by UHS, and opportunities will be provided for members of the community to show empathy and compassion for one another. For this difficult time, the UHS mental health team has prepared resources and modified our programmes to be approachable, pertinent, and considerate of the special circumstances brought on by the election.

The week before and after the election, there will be Virtual Let’s Talk consultations for students and Wellness Circles for students, staff, and faculty that will focus on grounding and resilience.

Below are some ideas for how to manage election-related stress and foster your resilience.

  • Avoid dwelling on things you can’t control: Many people automatically conjure worst-case scenarios when faced with uncertainty. By concentrating on what you can control, you can break the habit of dwelling on undesirable results.
  • Do something: Find a hobby you genuinely enjoy, then devote time to it. Participate in causes that have meaning for you. Think about how you can get involved in advocacy and the community.
  • Unplug: Reduce your media intake if reading the news, watching debates, or browsing through social media is making you anxious. Embrace the idea of taking a break from the news. Think about things like going outside, creating art, reading a book you enjoy, seeing humorous videos, and listening to music.
  • Connect: Engage friends and allies who will be supportive. If necessary, discuss current events, but pay attention to your feelings of overload.
Elections Are About Mental Health
Elections Are About Mental Health
  • Be Present: Permit yourself to feel the way you do while acknowledging your feelings and reactions. Although avoiding might occasionally be beneficial, ignoring intense emotions can have unfavourable effects.
  • Refuel: Before, during, and after the election, remember to take care of yourself. Take deep breaths, consume plenty of water, get plenty of rest, practise mindfulness, attempt to eat healthily, monitor your caffeine intake, etc.
  • Stay active: We can relieve the energy we experience when we are agitated by moving. Get some exercise every day. Stretch. Go on a walk. Enter nature by going outside.
  • Try not to judge your emotions or to judge others. Remember that we are all different and need different things to self-soothe.
  • Practice positive psychology: Try to maintain some perspective despite all the unfavourable election coverage. Look for upbeat news and stories. It serves as a crucial reminder of life’s blessings and the resilience of the human spirit. Embrace thankfulness for the things and people in your life for which you are grateful.

 If you want to stay up-to-date on similar news, journalization.org is the only place to be.

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