Coping with Election Anxiety
UVAToday did an interview with psychology professor Bethany Teachman, who is an expert in managing anxiety. Dr. Teachman gave advice about managing anxiety introduced by the election and waiting for its results.
To manage our emotional health, Dr Teachman gave 5 things we can do:
Take breaks from news coverage and social media and focus on "regular life" activities
Remind ourselves that uncertainty means "we don't know" - it does not mean the worst outcome will happen
Remind ourselves we are resilient, and we can and will deal with whatever the results are
Take time to care for ourselves - healthy eating, sleep, exercise, getting outside and connecting (in safe ways) with our support system
Show compassion for ourselves and others
She says, "Uncertainty is incredibly stressful for many of us because we constantly seek to form narratives and find meaning. So when we don’t have a complete script, we tend to add our own endings. If we’re anxious or overwhelmed, the ending we add in our mind is likely to reflect that state of mind, so we assign a worst-case scenario ending."
A big step to manage anxiety and its physical symptoms is to recognize that they are normal and to practice different forms of self-care. If symptoms persist, Dr. Teachman also provided different resources available for students:
The Counseling & Psychological Services (CAPS) at UVA offers a variety of services
A list of Online Apps to provide relaxation and mindfulness
MindTrails, a free, online intervention to help reduce anxious thinking
A list Mental Health Resources collected by Harvard
You can read the full article here.