Voting is one of our most important rights as U.S. citizens. This election carries with it many important issues and we recognize that our students feel very passionate about engaging in the civic process. However, this can sometimes be a source of stress and it can be important to seek out support if it is needed. Below are some ways that you can seek support from our Counseling Center services during this time, along with self-help information for coping with stress. For more information about how to engage in the civic process, please explore UA Crossroad’s digital civic engagement tools
Election support groups
This group will provide a safe place to process thoughts and feelings toward election with like-minded students. Participants will be able to receive and give emotional support during potentially stressful period through this group. If you are interested in participating, please call 205-348-3863 and ask to speak with Dr. Greg Vander Wal.
Same-Day Consult Appointments
The Counseling Center is offering same-day 30 minute single session phone consultation appointments with a therapist. These appointments are designed to help students meet non-emergency mental health needs and can be a great way to get support for election-related stress. This is a one-time consultation with no expectation of future appointments with the consulting therapist. Students wanting to use this service should call the Counseling Center after 8:00 a.m. to schedule an appointment for later that day.
Coping with Election Stress
What you might experience
- Anxiety: Dealing with uncertainty can make you anxious. You may feel anxious about election process, outcome and implications of outcome.
- Anger and frustration: You many feel frustrated with people who do not share similar values and beliefs and situations that are not under your control. Disagreement can trigger animosity.
- Feeling overwhelmed: You may feel overwhelmed by too much news/ information/ opinions.
- Emotional exhaustion: You may feel exhausted by experiencing wide range of intense emotions.
- Sleep issues: You can experience sleep issues while worrying about situations that are not under your control. Too much news consumptions can also interfere with sleep.
- Fatigue: You may feel tired from lack of sleep, emotional exhaustion, and information overload.
All of these can make your life more stressful. Plus we are already dealing with stress associated with pandemic.
What you can do
Limit media consumption!
- Scheduling time in the morning and evening to catch up with news instead of checking news update all day long.
- Limiting time spending on social media and commenting on others posting.
- During media break, intentionally engaging in enjoyable activities with friends and family or spending quality time with yourself.
- Setting a clear boundary between your life and media
Intentionally engage in self-care activity
- Sleep: stable sleep routine is foundation for good mental health. Trouble sleeping?
- Eating and nutrition: food provides fuel for your body
- Exercise: Physical activity energize your body and mind.
Engage with supportive friends and allies. Discuss current issues with like-minded friends to get support. Not everyone shares your perspective. So, try to stay away from heated debate when you are feeling overwhelmed. It is OK to limit your topics and avoid conflict.
- Why is connecting important?
- To decrease loneliness, stress, depression, and anxiety
- To share struggles and experience solidarity
- To experience sense of belongingness
- To give and receive care and support
- How do you connect during pandemic?
- Write a letter
- Make a phone call
- Deepening connection through asking meaningful questions and sharing feelings and thoughts
- Connecting via video
- Spiritual connection
- Spirituality can be one way to alleviate stress and connect to self, others or a higher power(s)
- It can provide you sense of purpose, control, and connection.
- You can learn more about spirituality and stress reduction from the following article.
- Seeking help
- Seeking counseling can help you to process your feelings and thoughts toward election and enhance stress coping. Call counseling center at (205) 649-3158 to schedule an appointment.
Channel your feelings into positive and meaningful activity. Understand your values and issues that matter to you. Engage in your community through activism, service, or advocacy in ways. You can experience sense of empowerment, purpose, and belongingness through engaging in such activities
- Understand yourself
- Search for an opportunity to engage
Learn stress management techniques that works for you