A monumental event is upon us and we have the power to choose our country's future path with the simple click of a button. No pressure.
All we have to do is keep ourselves informed of each presidential candidate's position by watching debates, reading articles, listening to the news and even paying some attention to the barrage of campaign advertisements on TV and radio. Feeling slightly overwhelmed?
During the presidential campaign season, it's no surprise that people become a little more stressed and inundated with information. Bryan Hatcher, director of Center Development and Education for CareNet, part of Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center, offers the following tips to avoid and relieve some of that campaign season stress:
•Hold to your convictions and passions. Vote out of your core values, and you will always feel confident in how you cast your vote.
•Do not personalize someone else's convictions or political stances. Each of us has a right to our opinion and to exercise that opinion at the polls. There will always be many people with whom we disagree, and that is the beauty of our political system - it allows for diversity and options.
•Become informed about the candidates and their perspectives, then know when to turn it off. The closer we get to Election Day, the more jargon, finger-pointing, one-upsmanship and derogatory statements become the norm in political advertisements. It is good to know when to turn off the TV, radio, internet or other media that are running them. Or, if you can't turn them off, then just learn to laugh at them.
•Find some friends who hold similar values. It can be easy to feel as if you are all alone in your values if most of what you hear is a vastly different message. It is good to have regular interaction with others who believe as you do during such polarizing times as a national election.
•Maintain your habits of wellness and self-care. If you exercise, meditate, read, watch movies, hang out with family or friends as a normal part of your life, then by all means continue those same practices during the high stress of an election campaign.
Also, if you feel it is too late to prevent becoming overly stressed during the political season countdown, try to take a step back and reclaim what is important to you. Some basic practices for diminishing stress are: eat healthy food, get plenty of rest, interact with people you enjoy, exercise, spend time outdoors and breathe.