Tips to help prevent Election Day anxiety amid a pandemic

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AMARILLO, Texas (KAMR/KCIT) — Election Day anxiety does exist. With the pandemic and current political climate, this election year can be more stressful than previous ones.

“I would say that with this election era along with the Covid era have been stressful for people and I think they should anticipate the delays in results,” Dr. Fatima Motywala with TTHUSC explained.

Dr. Motywala said a possible delay in election results could cause some people to feel anxious or even stressed but there are ways to avoid the “wait time” anxiety.

“I know that people want to know what’s going on but scanning through the internet or watching TV all the time, every second of the news is not very important. One has to be updated but not every second,” said Dr. Motywala.

For people who tend to scroll through their social media feeds, Dr. Motywala suggests Election Day may be the best day to take a break.

“Tell themselves, ‘Okay, I’m going to stop it here. Not going to spend like all day, my full day on Facebook,’ or other resources or other social media but give themselves a break,” Dr. Motywala added.

According to Dr. Motywala, another way to reduce election anxiety is to opt for a healthier routine.

“Routine is very very important.”

Dr. Fatima Motywala

“They can do something that is healthier and also direct their mind from the anxiety. Routine is very very important. We always stress about the routine activities, getting good sleep, make sure you’re getting good food,” Dr. Motywala said.

For those headed out to the polls, Regional Chair of the Department of Psychiatry Dr. Bobby Jain said people changing their mindsets about elections can impact their overall moods.

“It’s a good privilege,” Dr. Jain said. “I’ll be very happy and enjoy my time standing in the line for something that only comes once every four years. It’s Christmas every four years.”

Dr. Motywala also suggests doing breathing exercises you can easily find on Youtube before heading out to cast your ballot.

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