How to cope with Election Day stress in 2020

Nov 3, 2020, 10:33 AM
Utah Republican primaries and party affiliation...
A women inserts her ballot in a ballot drop box Friday, Oct. 23, 2020, in Salt Lake City. Photo credit: Rick Bowmer, Associated Press.

SALT LAKE CITY — 55% of people in a new survey say Election Day is the most stress-filled day of their lives. 

Nearly six in 10 people can’t imagine being more stressed than they already are this year.

95% in the survey say the stress from this year is negatively impacting their health.

“We notice it in our bodies, the tension in our shoulders. Some people get GI upset or headaches. People have trouble sleeping, tossing and turning or having bad dreams about the election,” said Dr. Robert Bright at the Mayo Clinic.

Peel back the layers

Peeling back the layers of feelings and thoughts can help get to the bottom of the stress.  Clinical psychologist Dr. Liz Hale says it actually isn’t the election or Covid-19 that worries people, it’s their thinking about those things that does.

This theory goes back to Greek philosopher Epictetus, who said that man is not troubled by events, but by his or her thinking about those events.

“It is our belief about the politicians that we are cheering or fearing,” said Hale.

She suggests asking yourself two questions: What are your feelings teaching about you that is positive, and what are they teaching you about your core values?

Election Day stress: take back control

Focusing on the election and worrying about it for so long means some people feel like things are out of their control.

“We have to figure out, how do we control what is controllable? What is in our control, what can we do?” said Bright.

Hale tells her clients to prepare for an alternative outcome by asking themselves a different question: “How are you going to make peace with the candidate who is not of your choice getting in?” 

The long election cycle coming in an already stressful year wears on people.

“It affects our emotions after a while. We start to get irritable and short, snapping at people, not trusting people. Seeing people as ‘the other’ or ‘the same.’ It affects our relationships at home and our work,” said Bright.

But Hale said you can change the story you tell yourself about that, too.

“They are just like me, my neighbors, even though they have the opposite sign in their yard. I am not going to let politics get in the way of those relationships. I refuse,” she said.  “Don’t let politics come between you.”

Today’s Top Stories


WWE Essential...
Zoe Sottile, CNN

John Cena breaks Make-A-Wish record after granting 650 wishes

Actor, wrestling legend, and perpetual meme subject John Cena has completed a new accomplishment: breaking the world record for most wishes granted through the Make-A-Wish Foundation.
1 day ago
Utah Republicans are looking to ban transgender surgeries and other hormone-based care....
Mark Jones

Utah to receive additional $4.9 million from FEMA in response to COVID-19

FEMA has announced Utah will receive an additional $4.9 million to help with the housing costs during the COVID-19 pandemic.
2 days ago
BYU tracking...
Simone Seikaly

BYU researchers learn importance of tracking, in fitness and other goals

BYU researchers found that tracking an activity helps to increase (or decrease) that activity.
4 days ago
Adam Small

National health panel recommends anxiety screenings for adults under 65

Anxiety screenings were recommended for adults 19 to 64 by the task force to help combat the under-detection of anxiety disorders.
5 days ago
The little league player that was critically injured after falling off a  bunk bed is now fighting ...
Randall Jeppesen and Mark Jones

Easton Oliverson family files lawsuit against LLBB and bunk bed makers

A lawsuit has been filed by the family of Easton Oliverson against Little League Baseball and the makers of the bunk beds he fell off and injured his head just prior to the Little League World Series.
6 days ago
University of Utah Health...
Lindsay Aerts

U of U Health says contraception need higher for both women and men in the wake of Roe decision

University of Utah Heath says demand for birth control is up and they have a new clinic hoping to get women faster access.
6 days ago

Sponsored Articles

a worker with a drill in an orange helmet installs a door in the house...
Price's Guaranteed Doors

Home improvement tip: Increase the value of your home by weatherproofing doors

Make sure your home is comfortable before the winter! Seasonal maintenance keeps your home up to date. Read our tips on weatherproofing doors.
Curb Appeal...
Price's Guaranteed Doors

How to have the best of both worlds for your house | Home security and curb appeal

Protect your home and improve its curb appeal with the latest security solutions like beautiful garage doors and increased security systems.
A paper reading IRS, internal revenue service is pictured...
Jordan Wilcox

The best strategies for dealing with IRS tax harassment | You have options!

Learn how to deal with IRS tax harassment. This guide will teach you how to stop IRS phone calls and letters, and how to handle an IRS audit.
spend a day at Bear Lake...
Bear Lake Convention and Visitors Bureau

You’ll love spending the day at Bear Lake | How to spend a day at Bear Lake

Bear Lake is a place that needs to be experienced. Spend a day at Bear Lake.
Prescription opioids can be disposed of during National Prescription Take Back Day...
Know Your Script

Prescription opioid misuse | How to protect your family from the opioid epidemic

Studies have shown that prescription opioid misuse has increased since COVID-19. So what do you need to know about these opioids?
national heart month...
Intermountain Healthcare

National Heart Month: 5 Lifestyle Changes to Make Today to Keep You Heart Healthy

Heart disease is the leading cause of death for both men and women. One person dies every 36 seconds in the United States from cardiovascular disease
How to cope with Election Day stress in 2020