How to deal with election anxiety in the midst of a stressful year

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MEMPHIS, Tenn. — The uncertainty surrounding the presidential election may add even more mental health care challenges during a difficult time in the U.S.

“From a pandemic, to the Black Lives Matter movement, now we’re at the election. With holidays coming up, it can be really isolating,” Lamisa Hasan said.

That’s why she and others visited Shelby Farms Wednesday.

“Just wanted to be in nature, unplug for a little,” she said.

“Moments like this you get out and forget all this crazy stuff is going on,” Osama Almasri said.

In fact, that’s exactly what CONCERN Employee Assistance Program director Melissa Donahue recommends for her clients.

“The results of what comes down days from now is not going to change what you need to do in making sure that your house is still in order and you’re taking care of yourself, getting outside,” Donahue said.

She treats tens of thousands of employees in the Baptist hospital system. Many of them have become new clients, something she called a silver lining of the pandemic.

She also recommended sticking to a routine, even if you’re working from home, regular exercise and limiting social media and news exposure.

“Give yourself a break. Yes, being informed is important but also getting that information in bite size pieces and not just a hurricane of information,” she said.

“I try to keep politics at a ltd level of my life. So I’ll tune in just for a little bit,” Almasri said.

She emphasized no one can change the outcome of the election anymore than they can change the weather.

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