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Saturday, May 8, 2021

Western Wellness: Post Election Stress Disorder

“Post Election Stress Disorder” is a term circling around to help diagnose those seriously affected by the outcome of the 2016 presidential election.

Our country is more politically divided than it has been in a long time, and that’s not an easy thing to handle in a time where it seemed like we were all coming together as a unified whole.

Is P.E.S.D. truly a medical disorder? Some argue that it is, but regardless of whether it’s real or who you voted for, many can agree that this election was, and still is, a stressful time.

According to an It’s a Glam Thing blog post about P.E.S.D., your body and moods are a tell-tale sign that you’ve been afflicted by the disorder. Your stomach is in knots, you can’t sleep or focus and you’re short with everyone, just to name a few.

Some people truly relate to this feeling but have no idea how to make it go away; I was one of those people. Of course, there are no guarantees that it will completely disappear, but here are just a few of the ways that helped me get through the initial shock.

Let it all out.

My best advice to any situation that is stressful is to just let the emotion flow out of you. Especially if you are someone who supported the candidate who lost. It is okay to be angry, vent your feelings or even cry. Talk to people who can share your emotions and spend a little time running your mouth… in private of course.

Don’t be a sore winner or loser.

Obviously this election wasn’t a sports game, but it is evident that there was a clear winner and loser. It’s okay to be happy that your candidate won, but don’t rub it in the loser’s face. Again, it’s OK to be sad that your candidate lost, but this doesn’t condone violence.  The best way to ease your stress is to remember that even though we feel divided right now, the best way to move forward is to work together.

Avoid drugs and alcohol, and drink lots of water.

Things like marijuana and alcohol are depressants, and you don’t want to bring yourself down any further. Turning to these substances is easy and sounds like a good way to let loose, but it’s easier to get out of bed in the morning if you simply don’t touch them. It’s best to stay hydrated when you’re under a lot of stress, and these substances, especially alcohol, do a good job of dehydrating you.

Local and national resources.

In times of high stress, the Student Health Center is always something you can turn to on campus. If this isn’t something you’re interested in, there are so many national resources you can turn to as well, which I will list below.

  • The Trevor Project Helpline (LGBTQIA youth/young adults): 1-866-488-7386
  • National Suicide Prevention Lifeline:  1-800-273-8255
  • Crisis Text Line: Text “Brave” to 741-741

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