CHARLOTTE – This week’s civil unrest at the United States Capitol has reverted many Americans back to the anxiety they experienced during the 2020 election, igniting fears about what’s to come, according to therapist Veronda Bellamy.
“People were glued to their televisions all night, with the stress of the civil unrest both damaging sleep patterns and encouraging people to partake in alcohol,” said Bellamy, who is also substance abuse counselor. “This type of stress is natural given the civil unrest and the uncertainty. However, we have to practice healthy habits to get through this time.”
A recent survey conducted by the American Psychological Association and Harris Poll revealed that 68% of American Adults said the recent U.S. presidential election was a “significant source of stress in their life.”
The high anxiety adds to already-existing stress around the ongoing global pandemic and record job loss.
Additionally, the anxiety is at a pivotal high in the Black community as they reflect on the different outcomes from Black Lives Matter protests this past summer.
Bellamy urges Americans to be mindful of political anxiety and turn to productive activities to stay level-headed.
“Some great avenues to turn your attention away from alcohol and comfort food is to get active and focus on the factors you can control,” said Bellamy, who also founded The Relevancy Factor personal development program. “Take time away from news outlets at least once a day and silence the alerts on your phone. Instead, get involved in COVID-safe hobbies such as cooking and journaling to combat political anxiety.”