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Syracuse University, College of Arts and Sciences

Managing Your Mental Health During Election Season

Kapuscinski portrait

Posted on: Nov. 2, 2020

Election Season Got You Down? Tips For Managing Your Mental Health

Posted on:Monday, October 26, 2020,

Author: By Daryl Lovell

As the Presidential election November 3 approaches, over two-thirds of Americans (68 percent), according to the American Psychological Association, report experiencing considerable stress related to the election. Syracuse University psychology professors Afton Kapuscinski, Ph.D., and Dr. Kevin Antshel Ph.D. provide recommendations for managing mental health in the midst of an election.

Dr. Kapuscinski, the director of the Psychological Services Center at Syracuse University and an assistant teaching professor of Psychology, recommends people experiencing election-related anxiety should:

  1. “Be mindful of the effects that news alerts, political articles and social media surfing have on your level of stress. Ask yourself whether the level of engagement is helpful or harmful, and take concrete steps to reduce your exposure if needed (e.g., limit screen time, stop notifications etc.)”
  2. “Channel anger and anxiety into constructive action: Support the changes you would like to see by donating to organizations you value, volunteering as an advocate, or educating yourself about issues that matter to you.”
  3. “Identify ‘coping buddies’ for election night and consider not just focusing on the election. Plan other activities like playing games online together, making new recipes or watching the same movie.”

Dr. Antshel, Syracuse University psychology professor and director of clinical training at Syracuse University, also adds that in addition to “limiting the amount of time that one engages with political content via the news, social media and interpersonal conversations,” people dealing with election-related anxiety should “[maintain] physical activity, a healthy diet, social support systems and good sleep hygiene” to cope with stress.

Original article is available at SU News.