As your heartbeat ticks upward watching cable news, as you jolt awake at 2 a.m. from a Nov. 9 nightmare, and as you chew your fingernails to the bone watching volatile election forecasts every hour on the hour, please know: You’re definitely not alone.
The Weather Channel is taking election anxiety seriously this year by doing something pretty cool on Nov. 8, 2016.
More than half of us — Democrats and Republicans alike — say that stress over the presidential election this year has been “very or somewhat significant,” according to a study by the American Psychological Association. Experts in the mental health field have reported increases in election-related anxiety in their patients.
“More than one client of mine has talked of physical nausea that they relate directly to current political happenings,” Melissa Lester Olson, a psychotherapist in Georgia, told Time, noting women have been particularly affected.
My election stress is suddenly an alternative energy source that could power my house for 37 years.
— Sherman Alexie (@Sherman_Alexie) November 4, 2016
Starting at 3 p.m. Eastern time and lasting all the way to midnight, The Weather Channel will broadcast nothing but calming, tranquil scenery (with zero election interruptions) to “set your soul at ease.”
So, after you cast your vote, you can sit back, relax, and tune in.
“This election year, American citizens have endured wall to wall breathless tension from our colleagues in the news media,” TWC explained, “and our forecast calls for a 100% chance that will continue through election day.”
“Wouldn’t it be nice if we all had a place to escape?”
Absolutely, Weather Channel — absolutely.
According to TWC, viewers can expect to see scenes of “autumn splendor.”
And big, puffy clouds in warm, colorful skies.
A good reminder that no matter what happens on Nov. 8, the world will go on. And we’re all going to have to work together to be OK.
We’re all going to be OK. (Right?)
TWC will also be playing smooth jazz for your listening pleasure.
Which, while it might not be your usual jam, after over a year of election coverage sounds nothing short of marvelous, right?
But if you’re still reeling with anxiety on Tuesday — even with TWC playing softly in the background — don’t fret.
There are other helpful ways you can manage your election stress.
You can, for instance, write down your election fears and address them, one by one. That may sound scary, but it will help.
Often when we work ourselves into a panic over who will win on Nov. 8, our minds spiral into a frenzy of “what-ifs” and worst-case scenarios.
It might sound silly, but one way to address this is to actually list out all of our fears. Why am I stressed about the prospects of a President […]?
Then, think about each one. Is it truly possible that this fear could become a reality? If so, how can I make concrete plans to address this change in my own life?
As The Los Angeles Times reported, you may find that some of your worst fears are unfounded. Even if they are totally founded, thinking about how you can be proactive in addressing them can only help.
Elections can be brutal on our mental health. But the best way to not feel helpless is to do something about it and vote.
This election cycle hasn’t been a normal one — particularly because many marginalized groups have been mocked, mistreated, and discussed like second-class citizens along the way. (It’s no wonder why women, more than men, are viewing this election differently than past years.)
But the election is finally here, and you’ve made it. We’ve made it. All there is left to do now is make your voice heard at the ballot box.
Once you have, well, then there’s The Weather Channel.