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Coping with Election Day stress

A Baylor Scott & White expert says dealing with anxious feelings leading up to and after Election Day can be as simple as phoning a friend.

COLLEGE STATION, Texas — According to a survey by the American Psychological Association, 68 percent of adults in the United States say this year's election is a significant source of stress in their lives. 

That number is up 16 percent from four years ago in 2016.

Last week, KAGS found sources of that stress: The civil and social unrest we've seen this year, the importance a lot of people are placing on this election and the way social media can act like an echo chamber of political discussions. 

So how can people deal with that kind of stress?

Experts at Baylor Scott and White in Bryan-College Station say it can be as easy as just talking your feelings out with a trusted person.

"Before and going right up until the election, phone a friend," said  April DeLeon, a Mental Health Therapist at Baylor Scott & White and Licensed Clinical Social Worker.

"Someone that you know that can just hear you. Have that reciprocal dialogue without judgement. It's important to name it and say 'I have a lot of stress'. After the election, if that sensation continues, develop a lot of important self sustaining health coping skills."

DeLeon said getting out in nature to exercise or socializing with others in a healthy way (with the current pandemic in mind) can help.

She also advises that people talk to their primary care physician about their feelings surrounding the election and see how to cope with them.

You can find more information surrounding the election on our KAGS Voter's Guide.