Election Anxiety: The Right Way to Deal with It

The Nigerian General Elections 2023 are around the corner and the tentative date is Saturday, 25 February 2023. You would agree that it is getting harder to concentrate on other things whether at school, home, or work. This is against the backdrop of an unstable national economy which makes the situation even more critical.

The stress and anxiety associated with this election are likely worse when you have friends and families with opposing viewpoints. The anxiety comes with a lot of uncertainty and the amount of information available makes people feel overwhelmed and sometimes helpless.

It is therefore important to focus on the things one can control, no matter how small or insignificant they might seem.

Tips on dealing with election anxiety

Ensure self-care

This entails eating, sleeping, and exercising well. It is important to ensure that you get as much rest as you can and eat the right amount of quality food. Also, you must ensure regular exercise as it has been proven that exercises dissipate anxiety. Meditation and finding a hobby that makes you happy form an essential aspect of good self-care.

Limit social media exposure

Reduce the time you spend on social media platforms such as Twitter, Facebook, or WhatsApp where news and information which are sometimes untrue are readily spread. Scrolling endlessly on newsfeeds causes one to be more anxious.

Set boundaries with people who have different viewpoints

Clear communication about what you would or would not like to discuss is highly helpful. For example, when having breakfast, lunch, or dinner with friends or family, you can tell them you do not wish to discuss politics.

Perhaps you are in an environment where you cannot define or control the subject of discussion, you can leave for the period the conversation lasts for.

Seek emotional support

Surround yourself with loved ones, friends, and family that you can talk to about how you are feeling. It might come to you as a surprise to find out that many of them feel the same way.

Avoid “worst-case scenario” thoughts

Thinking about the worst possible outcome of any event including elections will not change the outcome. Such thoughts only provoke anxiety and discomfort. Hence, dedicate your time and thoughts to the tasks and projects you have ahead of you.

A word from HealthFacts to you

The outcome of the upcoming general elections is beyond your control. You can however contribute to it by casting your vote for your preferred candidate (s). Beyond that, the anxiety that comes with the election period can be well-managed by focusing on the aspects of your life that are within your control. Some of them include your diet, exercise, social media exposure, and the conversations you have.

Till next time, stay informed and stay healthy!

Suggested Reading: How to cope with stress in Nigeria

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