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Managing stress during a tense political season

Did you know: 1 in 4 people check their phones for alerts within one minute of waking up.

WASHINGTON — The political divide and the partisan fighting appears only to be ramping up in the wake of the election lawsuits. Most people were glued to their phones on Election Day and following elections awaiting the announcement of who would become the president-elect. The constant access to information is great, but some therapist believes, it might be time to put the phone down.

Marline Francois-Madden, a therapist, suggests it may be time to adjust those push notifications. The news cycle is endless. We’re getting news alerts sent to our phones immediately. 

“We know with this election that's happening we're getting alerts constantly on our phone we're scrolling on our phone. So, all of that contributes to our stressors and our anxiety,” said Francois-Madden.

The year 2020 has been stressful for many. And with the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, coupled with a tense political climate, it has some people lagging with self-care. 

“You want to take a minute to just practice some deep breathing exercises, whether it's in the morning when you first get up, or before you go to bed but also throughout the day,” Francois-Madden added.

It sounds simple, but StudyFind.org found one in four adults checks social media within the first minute of waking up. 

“Turn those push notifications off your phone. That way you will be the one to direct when you have access to it, to go in at your own time when you feel your best to go and log in and scroll through social media or check and see what's happening,” Francois-Madden said.

As we get ready for the holidays, many will be spending it with extended family members. Francois-Madden suggested managing your expectations early with friends and family.  

“Who are you surrounded by? Do you have friends around you that are also projecting how they're feeling, and is that causing your anxiety levels to increase?”

A Pew Research Study found the political divide has only gotten worse and has more than doubled since 1994. That's especially when it comes to race, government assistance, and economic fairness; all topics you may want to avoid at the dining room table. 

“You can be cordial with people, but if you have to set limits, it’s okay to set those limits and boundaries because you have to be intentional about your well-being and your own mental health,” Francois-Madden said.

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