Many reporters are saying that this is the most unusual election in America’s history. Furthermore, it has been declared the most stressful event to ever occur because of the negative effect it is having on many Americans.
During these times, we have experienced things we have never seen, heard or even felt before. The climate is extremely negative to the point that people have become hostile, rude and even vicious.
Instead of the politicians explaining how they will improve the country they are blaming, ridiculing or accusing each other for all ills of the country. Their words have been toxic and very non-presidential. We are being bombarded with news reporting, commercials and social media, all so stressful.
My question is how is this affecting you as an American? I believe it is safe to say that most are tired of this election and everything that goes along with it. And unfortunately there is some indication that it is having a negative effect on many of us.
How fitting that we are actually recognizing National Stress Awareness Day and we are a few days away from election day 2016.
According to the American Psychological Association, 52 percent of Americans think the election is a significant source of stress, regardless of party affiliation.
So the questions I would like to pose today are; What are you doing to alleviate that stress? Have you turned to food? Do you find yourself eating more than normal? For many food is the source of comfort and distressing. If that is you here are a few tips that may help you survive through election day.
- Decrease your screen time-TV,laptops, tablets, etc and be selective on what you watch and how many hours that you watch election related stories. I realize this is difficult with the extensive number of news channels, some available 24 hours, such as local news, National News etc. Nielsen ratings show that CNN’s and Fox News GOP debates became the most watched program in the network’s history, attracting 23-24 million viewers.It more than doubled the viewers for primary debates in previous election cycles. This concerns me because most Americans are doubling the number of hours that they are watching television which unfortunately is often times coupled with snacking. The more screen time, the more mindless eating.
- Journal your food. Write down everything that you eat, when you eat and how much. You will begin to see a pattern and once you are aware of that pattern you can make changes. Awareness is the first step. The second step is to decrease your intake amount. You want to consume fewer calories. If you are engrossed in what the candidates or reporters are saying you might find you are consuming more calories than you would normally allow for yourself. So journal it and create awareness.
- Select healthy snacks. Don’t sit and eat a bowl of ice cream or slice of cheesecake or a entire bag of chips. Select low fat, low sodium and low sugary foods. You want to eat foods that provide nutritional value but still taste good. Think about clean eating. This usually means you would choose foods in their natural state and either eat it as is or create your own healthy snacks. This still allows you to eat to alleviate some of that stress but it does not derail your health.
I hope that these three suggestions can help you to control your eating even though these are very stressful times and this election maybe stressing you out. But the upside is the election will be over soon but you are stuck with your body forever so take good care of it.