There’s no doubt about it, election season puts a different kind of stress on our nation, and the closer you are to the “inner circle,” the higher the stress level goes because of the no-stakes nature of our country’s political system—it’s all or nothing.
This year has been record breaking different in terms of placing stress on voters, as well. We began by having to winnow down the largest field of Republican candidates ever, and some longtime favorites didn't make the first cut. We’ve listened to Trump call Hillary “the devil,” threatening to throw her in prison if he’s elected, and in turn have listened to Clinton go on about how Trump is the “worst nominee put forward by a major party in modern American history.” They have talked over each other in the televised debates, run over almost every moderator who’s been brave enough to moderate the Trump/Clinton debates, and sought to tarnish each other at every turn.
Of course we’re stressed out and tired of hearing about this election!
According to a recent article, 52% of American voters are incredibly stressed out about this Presidential election, and 51% of Americans are afraid of this election’s outcome. Both sides have anxiety about the other party’s candidate winning the election. And this is affecting Americans of all ages—from the ages 70 and up voters, down to the first-time voters in the ages 18-21 range. Further, the stress is being seen across major ethnicities as well- 56% of Hispanics, 52% white, 52% Native Americans, 46% black and 43% Asian Americans are all saying that they’re struggling with very significant stress as a result of this election. If you think about it, our eyes and ears are inundated with press releases, campaign ads, debates, primaries, conventions, press conferences, articles and more over a period of about 18 months every time the Presidential election rolls around, most of which is before the actual election. That’s a really long time to be engaged in and stressed about politics.
Of course we want to be informed and participate in the system: it’s a civic duty and right as Americans to exercise our freedom to vote. So how do we manage to stay aware of the political season and gather the knowledge we need for an informed vote without getting inundated by election “noise” and cause our blood pressure to rise?
Here are a few suggestions from your friends at Republican Coffee (and these are great tips no matter where your loyalty lies!):
(Sources: http://time.com/4299527/election-mental-health/, http://arstechnica.com/science/2016/10/this-horrid-presidential-election-has-52-of-voters-stressed-out/, http://www.cnbc.com/2016/10/14/election-anxiety-is-real-a-majority-of-americans-report-significant-stress-due-to-2016.html, http://www.huffingtonpost.com/jonathan-alpert/6-ways-to-keep-your-sanit_b_12558352.html)