2020 has been a stressful year for all of us, but could that stress impact the election? Well, according to the Busy Mind Psychologist Jessica Borushok, chronic stress can impact decision-making! Stress causes exhaustion and trouble sleeping, which can make your brain foggy and slow-moving. A state of high stress can make speaking out and advocating for what you believe in feel dangerous. And you may not have the energy to go out and vote. She told Bold TV who could be impacted most by this phenomenon and how to get around election season anxiety and get to the polls!
Could more stress mean fewer voters?
Money is already a huge stressor for many Americans, most of whom usually work on Election Day. When you’re always worried about your next paycheck, it’s difficult to focus on big-picture things like an election, which can seem so far removed from your present situation. Well, 2020 gave us a pandemic that led to massive job loss, plunging millions into poverty. Understandably, this stress could take priority over worrying about who to vote for. Borushok explains that this year is a “perfect recipe for holding a lot of people back from making moves that are otherwise really important to them.”
Thankfully, mail-in voting is an option for many more Americans this year. This could potentially balance out the impact of stress. If you don’t have the option to vote early or mail in your ballot, remember to preserve your energy for the big decision day. Fighting with trolls and reading too much political news could be zapping all of your emotional energy. Borushok also reminds us that local politics are extremely important in our day-to-day lives. Many are getting sucked into the energy vacuum that is the presidential election, which could leave them unprepared to vote on local bills and other positions on the ballot this year. Thankfully, she has some power-saving advice to keep us all going until November.
Tips for election season anxiety
If you’re an anxious voter, Borushok has a few tips.
- Cut out unnecessary stressors like social media. Even if you follow accounts that you totally agree with, the constant political messages can be draining and leave you feeling upset and hopeless. If you already know who you’re voting for, consider muting or unfollowing certain accounts.
- Take time to reflect on what really matters to you. Why do you want to vote? Reassuring yourself that your political views are important to you can ease a little of the anxiety the event causes.
- Set aside time to vote. If you can vote early, then do it! Get it out of the way as fast as you can so you don’t even have to think about it anymore. If early voting isn’t an option for you, then find out what your options are and write out a game plan. Research your local candidates, make sure you’re registered, and find out how, where and when you can vote. A plan takes away from any added uncertainty.