Embracing Your Election Stress

The American Psychological Association recently asked people about the level of stress over this election and close to 70% reported it was significant, well above the 52% from 4 years ago.  This, of course, has gotten the media into a frenzy with psychologists defining a new disorder now known 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.

Let’s try taking a different frame for viewing these results.

While the APA frames this as stress, from a resilience perspective, our passion and excitement are really about our love of country and belief in what is right. It should more properly be called “Election Excitement Drama.”

Instead of trying to find ways to “manage” all this, why not consider embracing it and going with what we really want to do about the election and the post-election. Some things might include:

  • Give your team members a chance to discuss their election feelings in a non-partisan manner. Emphasize the importance that we all feel about our democracy and how that passion can move mountains.
  • Set up your own Election Map and color in the victors in each state. If you are really feeling compulsive, you can drill down and do each county. Share your map on social media, particularly as you update.
  • 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 our passion is patriotism and that whatever happens, the country will endure. After all, the nation survived James Buchanan!

© Richard Citrin 2020

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