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'I’m dealing with election anxiety and stress. What do I do?'

By BṺM TENORIO JR., The Philippine STAR Published May 08, 2022 10:44 am

Each week, PhilSTAR L!fe addresses a reader's concern about relationships, career, and anything they want to talk about through its advice column: Asking for a Friend.

Dear L!fe friend,

The national elections are tomorrow and my anxiety is getting worse day by day. I feel like taking a social media break isn’t right because it’s also important to be aware of the things that are happening around me.

It’s just stressful to read fake news here and there, think about who will end up winning (because they’ll greatly contribute to the future of our country), all while being surrounded by my political opposites in the household. I'm tired of arguing with my narrow-minded relatives who believe everything they consume on social media, including spliced videos, is right (as long as they favor their presidential bet). What do I do?

— Exhausted Voter

Dear Exhausted Voter,

You’re tired of arguing with “narrow-minded relatives.” Rest.

Speak some more and all the more you will get exhausted. Tune out. 

You have already done your part. Chill.

It’s about time you thought of yourself, of your mental health. These elections are a test to the sanity of many. Don’t be part of the statistics of family members who have severed relationships because of politics. They have their own reason. Peace is an option. It’s different from fence-sitting, especially so that you have stated your point and position many times with your family members whose political point of view counters yours. Just please fortify your mental state with whatever the outcome of the elections is. 

Detox from social media if you must. Facebook is a sordid source of sorrow and heartbreak now that elections are at a fever pitch. As I said, you have already done your part explaining the truth, you have already separated the grain from the chaff, so to speak. Winnow it some more and a war will erupt. Stay away from conflict. Your mental health is a collateral damage. 

Peace is an option.

Tomorrow is another day. Because tomorrow is the day we will exercise our right of suffrage. Tomorrow and the days to come in the next six years will be boon or bane. 

Please channel your energy now to prayer. Let’s pray for our country. 

Your L!fe friend,

Büm

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