election day stress

Feeling Election Day Stress? What Mental Health Experts Say Can Ease Your Mind

voting-booths-generic
NBC 5 News

If you're feeling the stress of Election Day, you're certainly not alone.

With less than 24 hours until the big day, emotions were running high for many Monday, including Chicagoland voter Charles Gordon.

"I honestly don’t know how I’m going to feel until I know the exact results," he said.

Sixty-eight percent of American adults say the election is a significant source of stress, according to a new survey from the American Psychological Association, a dramatic increase from 52% in 2016.

"This seems like this may not be an Election Day issue," said Dr. Saloumeh Bozorgzadeh, president of the SUFI psychology association. "This may be stress that is prolonged this election cycle."

In the days following the 2016 general election, Cook County Health reported a 67% increase in heart attacks. Minority communities, especially Latin women, may face a greater health risk.

Bozorgzadeh said mental health, specifically anxiety, is at an all-time high during this election cycle, which is also taking place during a pandemic.

"I hear people saying, we just need to get through this year or we just need to get to November 4th," she said. “In doing that, what happens is, you put your whole body and system on hold.”

Instead, psychologists recommend mediating, going for a walk and disconnecting from social media.

Seeking professional help is also suggested.

"Things that tap into ourselves, the more we develop that connection, then we have something solid to hold on to and we’re not just blowing in the wind," Bozorgzadeh said.

Contact Us