Election anxiety rises for some amid presidential race uncertainty

As many are aware, just because Election Day was Tuesday it doesn't mean that the presidential winner is known the day after.

With the presidential race undecided well into Wednesday, the uncertainty can bring intense anxiety to some.

"I think people feel anxiety because they care so much on both sides," said Shilagh Mirgain, a psychologist with UW Health.

It is that uncertainty that is causing many to feel simply overwhelmed. A recent American Psychological Association poll, Mirgain said, found that 68% of Americans are experiencing considerable stress related to the election. In 2016, that number was just 52%.

"People are not doing well. Hearing people are staying up too late, they might be binge eating, they are doom scrolling or doom," Migrain said.

This combination of pictures created on October 22, 2020 shows US President Donald Trump (L) and Democratic Presidential candidate and former US Vice President Joe Biden during the final presidential debate at Belmont University in Nashville, Tenness

So, how can people keep themselves grounded? Mirgain said making a plan for wellness can help.
"Get outside and get some form of exercise in. That’s one of the natural ways of boosting endorphins in your system that can really create calm in your system," said Mirgain. "To distract yourself, do something fun.

The psychologist suggests getting some rest and being social. If you have children, talk to about what's going because they feel it, too.

"Remind them that as a family you’re much more than this election," Mirgain said. "This election doesn’t define you, the results don’t define you, and it’s a great opportunity to reflect as a family on those core things."

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If you find yourself struggling with mental illness and are in need of professional help, you're encouraged to reach out to your doctor or the National Alliance on Mental Illness.

For more information, NAMI.org.