This election has created great stress across the US. I was interviewed about it by one of the top journalists in the country and the interview appeared in SHAPE Online. Here is the link to to published article: https://www.shape.com/lifestyle/mind-and-body/election-hangover Here is my complete interview transcript with more detail on my analysis of the problem.

Why might people feel mentally foggy the day after the election?

This is pure PTSD. Even though this ‘traumatic stress’ (The TS in PTSD) is not of the scale of say, being in war, people have experienced great stress about this election because of the consequences it has for the future.

What about gloomy?

The gloominess will result out of the uncertainty that the future will hold. No matter what the outcome of the election there will linger negativity.

Will the other side retaliate? Challenge the elections results? Change the policies made previously? Continue the negative narrative? Etc.

Tired?

The bombardment of news and nuances of this election has brought on an overload of constant thinking about this over other events in our lives. The result is classic ‘burnout’ in many people. We just don’t have the cognitive and emotional energy to expend any more thought or emotion to this event.

Why might the day after the election manifest as both physical and mental symptoms?

Each of my answers above address why this will occur: PTSD, emotional and thought burnout, the gloominess, fogginess and tiredness.

What can people do about it?

If you are feeling any of these PTSD or PTSD-like symptoms as I have mentioned here, as much as possible do the following for yourself: Get some form of exercise—moving your body helps discharge stress. Take a day off reading any political news or analysis. (Resist this because we all want to know the ‘whys’ but you need a break.) Plan your day(s) ahead out—this puts you back in control of life. Avoid aggressive/negative conflicts, drama, toxic situations—these just bring back the experience traumatic stress. Concentrate of your hobbies, passions, joyful activities—these diversions help to cleanse your mind.

exercise will have those positive effects of the endorphin high and the positive and alert sensations, BUT, also exercise is phenomenal at clearing your mind, cleansing your mind. Think about it, when you exercise you mind has to take in and attend to dynamic (instantaneous, evolving) stimuli that you MUST concentrate on—wonderful mind clearing/cleansing!

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