Are you suffering from ESD? No…I’m not talking about Erectile Syndrome Dysfunction. That would leave out half the population. This is something much more serious for which there is no magic little pill.
I’m speaking of Election Stress Disorder. That’s right. This presidential election is about to do in over half the US population. Do you feel panicked at the thought of either the Democratic or Republican candidate winning the election on November 8th? Do you have trouble breathing, sweaty palms, apocalyptic visions at the mere thought of it? Then you’re not alone. In fact, you’re right in sync with 55% of your fellow Americans.
This election season is like none other in the history of our country, but I will not recount how and add to your stress level. We all know how. We are inundated with it in our 24-hour news cycle day in and day out.
So what can we do? Well, let me begin with this. Until the election, I suggest we all go into survival mode. There are times in our lives when we need to seek out edifying conversations with those whose opinions and perspectives differ from ours. This is not one of those times. No one is going to change their mind on how to vote based on anything you can possibly tell them. So don’t even try. Bid your friends of a different political persuasion a good day, give them a hug, and wish them well.
Second, social media is not your friend right now, unless you have already unfriended each and every person who does not agree with you on the candidate of your choice. Stay off Facebook and Twitter until this is over. Read War and Peace. Read a beach book. Read anything that’s a distraction. And don’t tempt yourself by signing in online and deciding not to engage. Just take a vacation from it. Your stress level will go down. Trust me.
Third, and I hate to write this. I really do. But sometimes a vacation from reading news online or in print, or listening to it on the airwaves is just what the doctor ordered. An old friend used to ask my why I watched or read the news every morning when I woke up. “It won’t start your day off on a positive note!” she said. Boy, was she right! The first thing we read, hear, or engage in can set the tone for our entire day. So look for what’s positive, uplifting, life-giving!
And keep in mind. This election season, like every season before and after it will not last forever. We’re on the last lap and it’s almost over. You can do it. And if you encounter a fellow sojourner along the way, regardless of their political persuasion, give them a hand, invite them for a cup of coffee or a glass of wine to take a break. It just might make your day. And theirs.
We’re all in this together, you know?