The American Psychological Association asked participants in their annual 2016 “Stress in America” survey about “election stress.” Over half of the respondents indicated that this election cycle caused significant stress This, of course, got the media into a frenzy with psychologists defining a new disorder now know as “Election Stress Disorder.” Along with the diagnosis, are tips on how to manage it like turning off your TV or not looking at your Twitter feed.
While the APA frames this as stress, from a resilience perspective, your passion and excitement is really about your love of country and belief in what is right. It should more properly be called “Election Excitement Healthiness.”
If it didn’t matter to you so much, you wouldn’t be so affected. It’s appropriate to be enthusiastic about what you love!
Instead of trying to find ways to “manage” all this, why not consider embracing it and going with what you really want to do about the election. Some things might include:
- Do some last minute “get out the vote” volunteering or make a contribution to your favorite candidates. You don’t want to wake up Wednesday morning wishing you had done more.
- Go to your candidate’s local watch party and build on the energy. If things don’t work out, at least you’ll have friends to plot which country you are going to move to since you’ve already vowed to leave the USA if the other guy or gal wins.
- Watch your favorite partisan 24/7 news channel broadcaster and cheer them on.
- Reach out to a friend or family member on the other side and let them know that you understand and appreciate their passion. Be the reconciliation the country needs.
Remember that your passion is patriotism and that whatever happens, the country will endure. After all, the nation survived James Buchanan.
© Richard Citrin, All rights reserved, 2016