Owen Keehnen, a writer and historian in Chicago, is losing sleep over the election. About five times a week over the past few months, he wakes up around 3 a.m. in a panic, he said.
“As the election approaches, I feel an overwhelming amount of anxiety,” Mr. Keehnen, 60, said. “So much seems to hinge on the election when it comes to rights down the line and everything else. It’s really wreaked havoc on my sleep.”
Mr. Keehnen is not alone in managing stress this election cycle, a reality only amplified by the coronavirus pandemic.
About two-thirds of Americans in 2017 said concern about the future of the country was a significant source of their stress over money and work, according to a report published that year by the American Psychological Association titled “Stress in America: The State of Our Nation.”
The survey found a majority of people from both political parties were stressed about what it described as the “current social divisiveness,” but those figures were higher for Democrats at 73 percent, compared with Republicans at 56 percent and independents at 59 percent, it said.
Allison Eden, an associate professor of communication at Michigan State University, suggested a range of actions to mitigate any stress and anxiety the day can bring, including deleting social media apps like Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and TikTok from your phone. Making them just a little harder to access can help.
“You’d have to access it through a website or some not-easily-available device,” she said of the apps. “But if you take the logo off your phone, you’re less likely to click on it.” Eliminating notifications can also help ease stress, she said.
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