Election Stress is Real — Here’s How to Handle It


If you’re feeling a heightened sense of anxiety as we inch closer to the 2020 Election Day, you are not alone.

In fact, Election Stress Disorder (ESD) is a real thing and many people are struggling with it this time of year. 

stressed woman

The term was first coined by Steven Stosny, the founder of CompassionPower, back in 2016. 

Though you can’t necessarily be diagnosed with ESD, it’s certainly a real issue that countless individuals are having to deal with, especially people in marginalized communities.

2020 has been a dumpster fire of a year between COVID-19, the racial injustice, the wildfires, and the crazy news cycle, so it’s no wonder people are stressing out.

Though it’s difficult to detach oneself from thinking about the Election (because, well, it’s real-life), it’s important that we find ways to deal with our anxiety. 

Here are a few ways to deal with the tension and help you feel a little more zen leading up to Election Day.

Digital Detox

This may be obvious, but it is necessary. If you find yourself more anxious after spending some time on Instagram or Twitter, take the apps off your phone completely.

You may have withdrawals for a few days, but ultimately your mental health will thank you.

However, don’t cut yourself off from the news completely. If you do, you’ll more than likely get anxious that you’re missing out on something. 

Instead, check one news site every day in the morning and in the evening. Read the articles you want to read, see what’s going on, and then get the heck off the internet!

Write Down How You Feel

Take time out of your day, whether that’s in the morning or evening, to journal your thoughts and feelings. 

Write whatever you’re thinking and don’t worry about how it sounds or if there are spelling errors. 

We tend to bottle up a lot of our emotions and thoughts, which can heighten our anxiety, so just being able to put them on paper will help. 

Move Your Body and Your Mind

As Elle Woods once said, “Exercise gives you endorphins. Endorphins make you happy. Happy people just don’t shoot their husbands. They just don’t!”

While we shouldn’t take everything Elle Woods says to heart, she’s right about exercise!

Take time every day to move your body, whether that’s an intense CrossFit style workout or just a 30-minute walk around the neighborhood.

Along with exercising your body, try to meditate as often as you can. This will help to clear your mind and allow you to focus on what’s happening in the present moment.