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Is the election stressing you out? Just breathe and then do this.

Posted at 11:38 AM, Nov 05, 2020
and last updated 2020-11-05 13:27:34-05

RICHMOND, Va. -- Has the election stressed you out? You're not alone.

“Election anxiety, that’s a whole different factor, because it’s only certain things that we can control," James Harris, a licensed mental health professional and founder of “The HEALing Hub” in Scott’s Addition, said. "Stress and anxiety are normal. It’s what you do or don’t do in that situation where the issues come."

Harris provides outpatient therapy and “Men To Heal” which he describes as a movement to bring awareness to the stigma surrounding mental health among Black men and underserved populations.

"You did your part by going to the ballots, you did your part by doing the research on the different candidates, so it’s out of your hands, so don’t dwell on those situations. Focus on the other things that you can,” Harris advised.

If you're feeling overwhelmed, Harris said remember to breathe deep.

“[Also] monitor what you’re ingesting in your system," he said. "Whether that’s from social media, whether that’s from the news, just moderate it. You shouldn’t be subscribed to everything that you can that will increase those levels of stress within you.”

It’s not just mental, Harris said.

Stress can also lead to physical symptoms such as nausea and fatigue.

If rage or anger begins to overwhelm you, Harris suggested seeking professional help or sharing your feelings with family or friends.

“Surround yourself with positive people," he said. "Surround yourself with people who will validate your experience, validate your feelings, and do what you have to do to reduce your personal stress. Whether that’s mindfulness, yoga, taking a walk, playing with your children. Do things that will make you happy."

Watch Rob Desir's "Our RVA" reports Wednesdays on CBS 6 News at 4 and 5:30 p.m. If you know someone Rob should feature, email him at Rob.Desir@wtvr.com

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