7 Ways to Survive Post-Election Stress


Posted on November 8, 2016 by Joy Washington
Joy Washington


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Dr. Elise Labbé-Coldsmith, chair of the USA department of psychology, said focusing on positive events allows people to be in the present, which in turns helps reduce the stress response.

This year’s presidential election process left many Americans feeling stressed. And just because the election is over doesn’t mean everyone will be feeling better.

According to a recent American Psychological Association survey, 52 percent of adults listed the presidential election as a source of stress in their lives.

Dr. Elise Labbé-Coldsmith, chair of the USA department of psychology, provides seven coping tips to help you have a smooth post-election landing. Dr. Labbé-Coldsmith’s research areas include studying the evaluation and treatment of pain and stress. Her tips include:

  • Turn the television and radio off. Take a break from social media.
  • Get eight hours of sleep and limit your worry time.
  • Write down your concerns about the election. No matter what, life will go on. Research shows that people who keep a journal on their thoughts and feelings experience less stress than those who don’t.
  • Talk about the positive aspects of how the election can be helpful.
  • Maintain a balanced perspective regarding what’s good about our democracy. Keep in mind that our government has checks and balances that help maintain a more just system.
  • Exercise, meditate or do progressive muscle relaxation to help release tension in your body. Research demonstrates that when a person is experiencing stress, their sympathetic nervous system becomes activated. Physical activity and/or physical relaxation exercises helps reduce sympathetic nervous system activation, which results in feeling more relaxed both physically and  mentally.
  • Engage in a creative and/or fun activity. Research suggests that engaging in pleasurable and creative activities help people put stressful experiences in perspective. Focusing on positive events allows people to be in the present, which in turns helps reduce the stress response.

People who need help coping with stress can contact the South Alabama Psychology Clinic at (251) 460-7149; for more information visit the clinic website. The clinic offers low-cost services for children, adults, and families, including psychological testing and counseling, martial counseling and stress management.


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