HEALTH

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.”

We want to hear from you.

Have a story idea or tip? Send it to the KSL NewsRadio team here.

Today’s Top Stories

Health

Follow @amandadickson...
Amanda Dickson

Opinion: 6 thoughts we have before we call in sick to work

We all have those thoughts before we call in sick. From the paranoid to the considerate, here are some thoughts about making that call.
16 hours ago
Less than half of infants around the world are breastfed as recommended, and baby formula is in hig...
Janelle Chavez, CNN

Health experts call for end to “exploitative baby formula marketing tactics”

The report, published Tuesday in The Lancet, extensively outlines "predatory tactics" in the baby formula marketing industry.
16 hours ago
The Utah House has advanced the bill that bans transgender-related surgeries on minors and pauses t...
Aimee Cobabe

Equality Utah supports bill clarifying rules for therapists when it comes to conversion therapy for minors

Equality Utah is supporting a bill adjusting rules for therapists when it comes to conversion therapy for minors.
3 days ago
When inversions bring pollution to the ground, we breathe it in. That makes it easier to get sick a...
Dale Spaulding

Is illness or poor air quality causing that cough?

Inversion can impact a person's health. Is that why people are coughing, or is it just the regular cold and flu season?
3 days ago
A woman wearing white sitting in front of a light box...
Michelle Lee

Winter blues: light therapy and lifestyle changes can help

SALT LAKE CITY – With the chilly weather and the shorter days, many people are prone to experience the winter blues. In the latest Let’s Get Moving with Maria podcast episode, host Maria Shilaos spoke with Dr. Jason Hunziker from the Huntsman Mental Health Institute about ways people can overcome the winter blues. Seasonal depression […]
4 days ago
A new study finds that reports of bad weather and air actually decrease ridership on the UTA....
Devin Oldroyd

Relief from inversion and poor air quality may be in Utah’s near future

The Beehive State is in the middle of some thick inversion and poor air quality, but relief may be on the way according to the National Weather Service.
6 days ago

Sponsored Articles

Skier being towed by a rider on a horse. Skijoring....
Bear Lake Convention and Visitors Bureau

Looking for a New Winter Activity? Try Skijoring in Bear Lake

This article about skijoring is sponsored by the Bear Lake Convention & Visitors Bureau. Participate in Skijoring the Bear on February 20th, 2023.  What is skijoring? Skijoring is when someone on skis is pulled by a horse, dog, animal, or motor vehicle. The driver leads the skiers through an obstacle course over jumps, hoops, and […]
Banner with Cervical Cancer Awareness Realistic Ribbon...
Intermountain Health

Five Common Causes of Cervical Cancer – and What You Can Do to Lower Your Risk

January is National Cervical Cancer Awareness month and cancer experts at Intermountain Health are working to educate women about cervical cancer, the tests that can warn women about potential cancer, and the importance of vaccination.
Kid holding a cisco fish at winterfest...
Bear Lake Convention and Visitors Bureau

Get Ready for Fun at the 2023 Bear Lake Monster Winterfest

The Bear Lake Monster Winterfest is an annual weekend event jam-packed full of fun activities the whole family can enjoy. This year the event will be held from January 27-29 at the Utah Bear Lake State Park Marina and Sunrise Resort and Event Center in Garden City, Utah. 
happy friends with sparklers at christmas dinner...
Macey's

15 Easy Christmas Dinner Ideas

We’ve scoured the web for you and narrowed down a few of our favorite Christmas dinner ideas to make your planning easy. Choose from the dishes we’ve highlighted to plan your meal or start brainstorming your own meal plan a couple of weeks before to make sure you have time to shop and prepare.
Spicy Homemade Loaded Taters Tots...
Macey's

5 Game Day Snacks for the Whole Family (with recipes!)

Try these game day snacks to make watching football at home with your family feel like a special occasion. 
Happy joyful smiling casual satisfied woman learning and communicates in sign language online using...
Sorenson

The Best Tools for Deaf and Hard-of-Hearing Workplace Success

Here are some of the best resources to make your workplace work better for Deaf and hard-of-hearing employees.
How to cope with Election Day stress in 2020