‘Political fatigue is real’: Mental health experts give advice on how to avoid stress from 2020 election

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February 07 2021 05:30 pm

KANSAS CITY, Mo. – Mental health experts are warning that the grueling 2020 Presidential Election and now the pending results of who won is taking a toll on some Americans.

As demonstrators rallied at Mill Creek Park Wednesday night, calling for every vote to be counted in the election, more businesses boarded up their shops across the street on the Country Club Plaza.

“That’s sad to see,” said Caleb Howard, who voted Republican. “The fact that some of these stores feel like they have to board up to protect themselves, I just think that stinks.”

Like many across the United States, this year’s General Election cycle has been stressful and the unknown of who will become the next president is concerning for some Kansas Citians.

“It’s a really sad time and hard time for this country and we just want unity,” said Abby Howard, Caleb’s wife who described herself as more of a moderate.

They described the race for the White House between President Donald Trump and former Vice President Joe Biden as “tense.”

“I think a lot of people are taking it personally,” Abby said.

“It’s OK not to be OK,” said Aaron Crossley with Truman Medical Center Behavioral Health.

Crossley believes many Americans are politically exhausted, but he said that’s normal.

“People are tired of hearing opposing viewpoints, some people are tired of hearing from politicians in general, so yeah, political fatigue is real,” he added.

Crossley said people must recognize the things they can control versus the things they can’t – and know when to disconnect.

“Close my laptop, go take a shower, go get some coffee, go out for a walk because it’s normal to do some things but it’s also important to recognize when you’re going too deep,” he explained.

Carmelita Brown, a Biden supporter, said she refused to let the election get her down. Instead, she takes walks to help her relax.

“Stress will do a lot of things to you and I learned a long time ago you can’t really stress,” Brown said. “I feel really good.”

Whether one is a Republican, Democrat or down the middle, those FOX4 talked with agree. It’s important our country unifies, no matter the outcome.

“I think that’s what we need the most now,” said Abby.

“A house divided against itself cannot stand,” her husband added.

“It’s very important that we come together,” said Brown.

A study conducted last month for the American Psychological Association found that 68% of Americans view this year’s presidential election as a significant source of stress. That is compared to 52% in 2016.

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