If the 2016 presidential race has you pulling out your hair, you’re part of a large crowd. A recent survey by the American Psychological Association found that more than half the respondents reported this election is a very or somewhat significant source of stress. This response wasn’t limited to Democrats, Republicans or Independents. Election stress crossed all party affiliations.
Though negative ads and partisan bickering play roles in making voters anxious, social media appears to be the main culprit in ramping up stress levels. Roughly 38 percent of survey participants (that’s about four in 10 people) said political and cultural discussions on social media stress them.
But you don’t have to suffer this fate for the remaining days leading up to the election. The APA has these five tips to help you manage election-related stress:
1. Limit media consumption. Read enough to stay informed, and then take a break. Spend time with friends and family or take some me time.
2. Avoid discussions about the election if you think they’ll lead to conflict. Monitor how much you, your friends, family members or coworkers discuss the election.
3. Realize that anxiety about results isn’t productive. Focus your attention on making a difference on issues important to you.
4. Remember: Life will go on. Try not to think about worst-case scenarios.
5. Vote. That’s proactive. Study the candidates and the issues, and make an informed decision.