This election season, people have been blocking and un-friending those on “the other side”, families have been arguing, it's been a lot of stress. Tonight, one side may feel the stress associated with the loss and Dr. Sanam Hafeez, a New York City-based licensed clinical psychologist and teaching faculty member at Columbia University Teacher’s College has a term for it - Post Election Stress Disorder.
And some thoughts on the signs of such Post Election Stress Disorder and what to do about it.
1. Upset stomach
According to Dr. Hafeez, stressing out about the future of our country can manifest itself in physical discomfort, such as stomach tension, nausea and lack of appetite. She advises that you take a break from news coverage and discussing election results.
2. Inability to focus
If you are worrying about the next 4 years of your life, it is difficult to give full attention to anything else. Her advice is to go for a walk or exercise or even color in a coloring book. Anything that doesn't require a lot of attention.
3. Lack of sleep
A true sign of anxiety and stress is lack of sleep, says Dr. Hafeez. Sleep is when our bodies turn over cells, fight off illness and should be fully relaxed. When stress disturbs sleep for a prolonged period of time, it has been correlated to a slew of illnesses including depression, mental illness and heart disease. Avoid watching the news before bed and you should probably avoid pure streams of digital information being sent directly into your eyeballs with a tablet.
4. You’re angrier than usual
If you feel on edge and angry, screaming in traffic and irritable at work and that's not just another weekday, you need to get some perspective. And maybe a massage.
5. You’re not in the mood for love.
When stressed it’s common for sexual desire to wane - especially if your partner voted for the wrong candidate. Try holding hands, generate some feel-good brain chemicals, be happy "The West Wing" isn't still on television.
Remember, if your candidate didn’t nab the presidency, things could be worse. YOU could be President and inherit a $19.3 trillion deficit. Now is something to be stressed about.