Just a few days more and the 2016 election will finally be a memory or would it be more like a nightmare? Regardless of who wins, the aftermath will be … interesting. And the end can’t come soon enough. The staggering level of election fatigue experienced by Americans is unprecedented.
Back in July a Pew survey reported that people were already suffering from election coverage fatigue. It showed, unquestionable evidence that people are just tired of it all – and that was four months ago. Today, it’s much worse. This column is even an example of a sort of election coverage, so even if the content is not focused directly on the campaign, it’s probably related in some fashion.
So the question is, what will it be like in the days immediately following November 8? Sadly, it’s not going to be that much different. Sure, the campaign ads will be gone but the news coverage and social media barrage is certain to continue. Sore losers, gloating winners and conspiracy mongers proclaiming a rigged system will hammer the media with discourse – again.
Having some kind of melt down at the other side of the election isn’t going to help anyone. It’s going to play out however it does and everyone’s going to have to live with the result, like it or not.
The real trick is going to be recovering from all of this and just letting the aftermath roll off somehow. Suddenly the words to that nauseatingly repetitive Disney song waft through the air, “let it go, let it go.” And that’s exactly what people need to try to do.
For those suffering from election overload, it might not be so easy. So here’s some advice on how to deal with that post-election meltdown. First, and yes, it must be said again, let it go.
Next, avoid the media for a bit. Taking a break from the hype will really help. People seemed to be trying to do this during the campaign but that proved more difficult than initially thought. Of course, that includes steering clear of social media for a few days as well particularly Facebook and Twitter.
Calming, more relaxing activities are always a good idea when stress has taken over. Consider an autumn hike, long bike ride or just get outdoors in whatever manner possible but leave the smart phone behind.
Reconnecting with family and friends would help as well, particularly if there’s been animosity from the election. This campaign has torn holes in relationships of all types and, if possible, people should try to mend those rifts. Keep in mind, avoiding any discussions of politics is probably the best idea here as well.
It might not be easy, however. Where politics is concerned, people can be driven by deep, emotional convictions. It might not be easy to push past ideological differences to regain a previous relationship condition. It’s worth the try, though, if everyone is willing.
In the end, nothing about any election, particularly this one, is worth losing family and friends. So make the effort to mend fences if possible.
There is also the matter of personal stress and worry. The 2016 campaign has revealed one thing about the country: Americans are frightened for the future – no matter who is in the Oval Office. There is an equal amount of fear on either side of the political divide.
Most of the fear is unwarranted, however, blown out of proportion by the campaigns and the media. People need to look around and focus on the immediate issues that affect them and stop obsessing over the areas that are completely out of personal control.
On a final note, keep in mind that holiday stress is just around the corner as well. It might be wise to consider how to emotionally and mentally detox a bit before all of that happens. Especially considering how much political talk there is likely to be at family gatherings this year.
As previously mentioned, just because the election is over, that doesn’t mean people are doing talking about it. The best anyone can do is steer clear and give emotions and anxiety a chance to cool down.
Gery L. Deer is an independent columnist and business writer. Deer in Headlines is distributed by GLD Enterprises Communications, Ltd. More at deerinheadlines.com.