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How to cope with election anxiety and stress, according to AJ Sunglao

How to cope with election anxiety and stress, according to AJ Sunglao

As of this writing, election day is only three days away. And, a lot of people feel scared about what might happen in the coming days. Of course, this comes understandably so as whoever wins this upcoming election will handle the entire country for six years. That someone will either give us hope and lead us to greatness or dig us a much deeper hole. With that said, a lot of people have started looking for ways to handle what they currently feel with the upcoming election. 

Some tips to cope with election anxiety and stress, according to AJ Sunglao

Psychologist and mental health advocate AJ Sunglao recently took to Twitter to help his fellow Filipino people to relieve anxiety and stress because of the upcoming election.

“It is a stressful election season here with many people staving off feelings of dread and despair. But this gets a bit harder the closer we are to the elections.”

Engage more consciously on the topic. 

“No need to respond to every comment or discuss every election topic out there. Choose what you’ll engage on with clear intent and most importantly, choose where and who you’ll engage more consciously. Don’t waste time on random trolls.”

Talk about your election anxiety and stress with your community. 

“If you are a volunteer, you aren’t being a downer by bringing up these feelings. Chances are people are feeling it too but just don’t know how to start talking about it. It’s normal to feel scared and worried.”

Volunteer.

“If you have the time and space, engage directly with your election causes. Feeling like you can contribute in whatever way you can like joining H2H campaigns, registering to be a poll watcher in your area, and the like can help put the stress/anxiety into action.”

Limit and or schedule social media consumption. 

“There is no limit to the hot takes or stressful news we see now. Put your consumption of news to a certain limit or threshold, and do it at a specific time of the day. Please don’t cold turkey it. It can worsen anxieties.”

Prepare for the results. 

“We all want to hold on to a good amount of hope. But we should also emotionally prepare ourselves for whatever outcome. You do not have to do this alone. You can do this as a group/family. Check if volunteer groups have post-election activities.”

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Hold on to hope.

“I know I said prepare for the results but holding on to hope is a powerful way of managing stress and anxiety. Consider talking to people who share your beliefs about what are the signs and actions of hope you see. Hope exists stronger in communities.”

Take a step back and breathe.

“You don’t have to take all the news and updates and current events all in at the same time. If you feel overwhelmed, take a step back, you can close the tab, drink some water, BREATHE (slowly ofc), and come back when you’re ready.”

AJ Sunglao acknowledges that his thread does not necessarily count as a comprehensive list to handle election anxiety and stress.

He also added that anyone can do the self-care strategies that they normally do. Then, he pointed out that hope doesn’t end during the election. 

“The #Halalan2022 election is not where our hope ends. Whoever wins, we would still have our work cut out for us.”

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