WAYS TO COPE WITH POLITICAL STRESS
The stigma seems to be lifting ever so slightly. More people are talking about depression, anxiety and stress than ever before. Strides have been made to raise understanding and awareness, but more needs to be done to help those who need it. Education about depression and anxiety is instrumental, especially in today’s workforce.
Mental health professionals are seeing increased cases of depression with various causes; however, recently there has been a notable commonality between the cases. Dr. Prakash Masand, a psychiatrist and founder of the Centers for Psychiatric Excellence in New York, said rarely does a patient not bring up politics or the leadership of America.
With the upcoming general election, it may be helpful to note as an employer that stress and anxiety will be on the upswing.
“At least 75 to 80 percent of our patients show real concern, worry and even physical symptoms over politics right now,” said Masand. “Election stress has been a real problem for many Americans.”
Signs of depression, anxiety and stress can include missing work, no longer finding enjoyment in previously fulfilling activities, feels of hopelessness and constant worry. Masand emphasized that those affected should seek help.
For others who may feel a milder case of political stress, Masand recommended the following:
- Turn the TV off:Stop watching the news or reading about politics.
- Politely decline political conversations: When people want to discuss politics, you have every right to just say no. Politely divert the conversation to lighter fare.
- Find better ways to vent your frustrations:Instead of letting it fester, release your emotions through exercise and activities.
- Use moderation:OK, so you want to talk? Just do it in moderation.
- Breathe:When you find yourself getting frustrated and upset, you breathe quickly. Recognize this and slow down.
- Do something fun:If you are feeling down, go for a distraction and try to incorporate some fun activities into your routine.
- Back a candidate you believe in:Passionate and want to feel like you are doing something? Find a candidate you support and volunteer with his or her campaign.