5 ways to deal with post-election stress

Now that the presidential election is over, you may be feeling high levels of stress and anxiety.

If so, don’t worry, you’re not alone, says one mental health expert. That feeling of gloom, heartache, loss, and overall sense of unease, is actually normal.

Dr. Deb Sandella, author of “Goodbye Hurt & Pain,” promotes a body-centered, transformational technique that frees you of negative thoughts, according to her website.

Sandella describes the recent election as one of the most negative and caustic in U.S. history and offered some advice for battle-worn Americans.

“If your candidate won, your primary stress will be engaging with friends who voted for the other candidate and their emotions,” she said. “For this person, it is time to reconcile relationships with your friends, family, coworkers and Americans who hold opposite political views.”

“If your candidate lost, and your greatest fear of a president wins, you have some big de-stressing to do,” she added.

I know quite a few people who have displayed symptoms of grief, anger and anxiety in the wake of Tuesday night’s results; mostly people shocked that Donald Trump was elected president.

I’ve also talked to people, Democrats and Republicans, who are just concerned about the overall division in the country. Even children are exhibiting anxiety symptoms, some parents have told me. So, I asked Dr. Sandella for some tips on how to deal with such strong emotions. And here’s what she recommends:

1. Acknowledge that your feelings are normal, and allow them to flow in a constructive way so they can dissipate. What you don’t want to do is block, stop or stuff your feelings, trapping them inside until they explode at an inopportune moment.

2. Express yourself in a safe way, not harming yourself, others or relationships. “Right now to talk with people who have different views on the election, that is not a safe thing to do until you’ve processed your own feelings, particularly if you’re angry,” Sandella said. She recommended talking to a like-minded friend or writing down your feelings to release physical tension from the body.

3. Be upfront with friends and relatives about how you’re feeling, but avoid personal attacks. Ask them to be patient while you process your feelings.

4. Focus on the present and don’t obsess over the past or future.

5. Spend quality time with loved ones and doing things that you enjoy.

Alva James-Johnson: 706-571-8521, @amjreporter