With election day around the corner, you may be feeling stress and anxiety. If so, the American Psychological Association says you’re not alone.
Nearly 68 percent of adults say the presidential election is a significant source of stress in their life. As it turns out, Vermonters of all ages are experiencing such feelings.
“I’m most anxious about the fact that whatever happens in the election will impact me for the next four years,” said Burlington High School junior Liam Jolly.
Jolly isn’t old enough to vote yet, but age isn’t hindering students like him from learning about the election, especially as it’s discussed ad nauseum on social media.
“It’s really just all over, you don’t really escape it, unless you turn off your phone…it’s just everywhere,” said Burlington High School sophomore Lanxi Lin.
For this reason, UVM sophomore Bryce Williams made a preemptive move.
“I actually deleted social media because I thought that it was becoming very turbulent and aggressive and nobody was actually listening to each other.”
The American Psychological Association revealed higher levels of anxiety today compared to the 2016 election, when 52 percent of Americans reported having these feelings.
“Not only is it a general election but also we have some other major stresses in our lives…issues of economic uncertainty, students not being in school full time, not being able to be physically in contact with people that we love,” said Dr. Dawn Gonsalves, Director of MVP Health Care.
But Gonsalves says there are many ways to cope, prepare, and remain calm.
“It’s important to have good meals, stay well hydrated, to limit your caffeine intake, your nicotine intake, also what’s called ‘mind-altering substances. So those are definitely things you want to implement. Also maybe exercise, it doesn’t have to be rigorous exercise but, you know, taking a walk, getting fresh air.”
She even mentioned, some anxiety can be beneficial.
“It’s a motivator. You know, you need to get something done because when you get it done, the anxiety starts to dissipate,” said Dr. Gonsalves.
For former election lawyer Pat Sher that meant getting out to the polls and voting early.
“I don’t feel too much anxiety, I just feel like I’ve done all that I can. and now I’m just going to stay up here where it’s safe…until the election is over,” said Sher.
Vermont Secretary of State Jim Condos reminded Vermonters Wednesday unofficial results of the election will be announced Nov. 3 around 10 p.m. to midnight. Official results will be revealed seven days later.