Election Years and Mental Health in America

There’s no doubt about it. When the time for the presidential election arrives, it can be difficult to maintain positive mental health in America. The reason is more complicated than simply “politics are rough right now.” Politics certainly seem more vicious than they have been to date, but there’s more to it than that. Many United States residents care deeply about their politics. In fact, one study from Stanford indicated that people in the U.S. hold on to their political ideals more dearly than their race, ethnicity or cultural heritage.

That means that when the time comes for the U.S. population to elect a new president, tensions can run high, because we see the result as a reflection (or rejection) of our personal beliefs. In other words, if you find yourself increasingly stressed or dealing with more anxiety than usual, you’re not alone. Thousands of people in Havre, MT, are worried about the outcome of the election and are wondering if the elections are hard on mental health.

Fortunately, you can cope. Here are some strategies to help.

Take a step back

These days, it seems like you can’t go anywhere without finding yourself in a political conversation. On the chance you disagree with the person you’re talking to, you might be somewhat annoyed or offended at the notion that they do not agree with you. Those feelings can be even more heightened if you know (or are related to) the individual.

When you feel like your emotions are getting the best of you, pause the conversation and take a step back. You won’t convince anyone by shouting, and you won’t do yourself any favors by losing control.

Healthy detachment

The results of this year’s presidential election are important, it’s true. That said, you could do yourself severe harm by spending too much time focused on polls or specific quotes from your favorite (or most despised) politician. It’s important to vote and to remain informed, but there is a difference between staying informed and getting obsessed.

If you’re feeling stressed reading the news, restrict the time you spend reading news and participating in political social media conversations to 90 minutes every day.


The best way to naturally relieve stress and anxiety is with light exercise. Go for a walk. Do a light round of yoga. Hit the gym for 20 to 30 minutes. There are plenty of ways to stay active and get your heart pumping.

Not only will exercise provide a natural distraction from your stress, but it will also release endorphins, which improve your mood.

Your ally in mental health

If you need assistance maintaining your mental health in Havre, MT, come to Ellen Savage LCPC. Ellen is a pioneering licensed clinical professional counselor who has helped countless individuals and families since she began her illustrious career in 1982.

Best of all, when you work with Ellen Savage, you can get the help you need remotely. Ellen is happy to take phone calls or interact through Skype or FaceTime, so you can get help with the flexibility you need. Individuals, couples and families can get treated for various afflictions, from substance abuse to emotional disorders. Let Ellen Savage help you. Contact her online today.