The American Psychological Association’s (APA) annual Stress in America™ survey “measures attitudes and perceptions of stress among the general public and identifies leading sources of stress, common behaviors used to manage stress and the impact of stress on our lives.”
The most recent survey found that both Democrats and Republicans alike are anxious about the future of our country. This is the first time in the APA’s decade of conducting this survey that politics was listed as a significant source of stress in Americans’ lives.
“Constant access to breaking news on social media, TV and other sources is probably a large contributor to the elevated stress levels,” says Lynn Bufka, a psychologist and the APA's associate executive director for practice research and policy. The APA survey noted that people who constantly check news sources were nearly twice as stressed as their less-frequently checking counterparts.
The APA survey also included tips for coping with increased stress due to the political climate.
What you can do:
- Read more about this survey here.
- Limit news tracking via social media and TV. If you’re having trouble detaching, check out these apps that can “block” you from accessing social media for specific periods of time. Others have used the tactic of asking a trusted friend to change their social media passwords for a pre-determined period of time.
- Make sure that your Wellness Recovery Action Plan (WRAP) or other wellness plans are up to date.
- Make a plan to do at least one nurturing, non tech-driven wellness activity each day.
- If helpful, check in daily with a friend or a peer for accountability on following through with wellness activities.
- To feel plugged in, ask a trusted person to notify you of any breaking news that might be impactful in your immediate environment.
- Spend some time volunteering for or supporting a cause that means something to you.
- Join the conversation about stress on Twitter by following @APAHelpCenter and #stressAPA.