Post-election anxiety is real; how to handle it and small acts at home that can help

Action News Jax Gets Real: Post-election mental health


The 2020 Presidential election has been top of mind for many people, regardless of political affiliation.

A study by the Harris Poll on behalf of the American Psychological Association found that two-thirds of American adults — about 68% — say that this election is a significant source of stress in their life. The survey found that those with chronic health issues are more likely to be stressed regarding election results versus those without pre-existing conditions.

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Action News Jax reporter, Meghan Moriarty, spoke with Licensed Clinical Social Worker Amy Pope-Latham, who is the owner of Coastal Beaches Therapy in Jacksonville. She said many of her clients are reporting restlessness, fatigue, difficulty concentrating and intrusive thoughts.

“In younger households, yes, the divide is really intense,” Pope-Latham said. “With everything that’s going on, home has become unsafe for some people where they feel like they can’t say something that might create an argument.”

She recommends a few coping mechanisms for stress and anxiety:

  • Get outside, whether that’s a walk, jog, bike ride. Spend some time, each day, outside.
  • Take five minutes every day to not look at your phone. Bonus points if you take more time than that.
  • Stretch
  • Take a piece of paper and write down your feelings, then rip it up and throw it away. It’s symbolic of getting your feelings out and letting it go.

Pope-Latham said it’s also good to get organized and tackle everything one project at a time.

Right now, several therapists are not taking new patients due to the pandemic. However, there are plenty of free resources you can take advantage of.

There’s a free crisis text line that offers counseling 24/7. Just text “EMPATHY” to 741.

Other resources recommended by Pope-Latham, located here in Jacksonville:

Northwest Behavioral Health (904) 781-7797