Tips for Coloradans on how to handle ‘Election Day Anxiety’

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DENVER (KDVR) — Election anxiety is affecting pretty much every Coloradan in some form or fashion this Tuesday.

Mental Health experts in Denver say this election is causing more stress and anxiety than any other election in recent history.

The anxiety you’re feeling could be made even worse by family and friends with opposing political views.

To handle the sort of stress caused by family and friends, experts suggest you ‘don’t match snark with snark’.

It’s easy to do, but only makes the situation worse, according to therapists.

It’s also a good idea to remind yourself it’s not your job to change anyone’s minds; nor do you have to.

When it comes to conversing, you should do so with compassion. Experts say if you speak civilly, you’ll likely get spoken to civilly in return.

“Somebody is going to win this election and somebody is going to lose and there are lots of things going on right now — and emotions are running high. Consider in the context all of the loss people have experienced with the pandemic and the grief that goes with that, maybe we’re always not our best. And just recognize that’s okay,” said Dr. Carl Clark, President & CEO of the Mental Health Center of Denver.

When it comes to your own self care, mental health experts in Denver say it’s important to come up with a plan.

“We’re seeing a huge uptick in cases where people are having trouble sleeping, excessive worry, things like that,” said Caitlin Alago, a Behavioral Health Clinician at UCHealth.

Denver area therapists and specialists say if you’re anxious, make sure to exercise or go for a walk.

You should also consider taking a social media break for the day and look for other ways to occupy your mind.

“Lately, my patients in particular have been a really big fan of things that allow them to use their hands, but not necessarily your hands,” Alago said. “Whether that’s knitting or paper crafts, or whatever it is. People have had really good luck with those sorts of things”.

Talking to your children about the uncertainty of the Presidential Election can be difficult to maneuver.

But professionals suggest you listen to your child and answer any concerns they may have.

“Kids understand more than we think they do. And I think it’s most important to just not assume they don’t know what’s happening. And to give them them space. ‘Hey are you worried about anything lately’? And then they can tell you what they want to talk about. As opposed to just kind of trying to anticipate, ‘At this age what is my child going to want to talk about?’ Alago explained.

If you’re children are receiving any skewed information about the election, therapists also suggest you correct it for them.

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