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Election Outcome Hasn't Lowered Americans' Stress Levels: Poll

HealthDay News
by Robert Preidt
Updated: Nov 19th 2020

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THURSDAY, Nov. 19, 2020 (HealthDay News) -- The U.S. presidential election may be over, but many Americans remain stressed about it, as well as a number of other worries, a new poll finds.

The online Harris Poll survey from the American Psychological Association (APA) -- which included more than 2,000 adults aged 18 and older -- was conducted Nov. 12-16. It found that 27% of respondents said their stress has actually increased since Election Day, while just 17% said it has decreased.

Specific sources of stress cited by the majority of respondents include the election outcome, the current political climate, the future of the nation and the coronavirus pandemic.

"There is no doubt that we continue to face significant challenges in 2020, from the election to the pandemic. These findings demonstrate that we are not doing enough as a country to bring our stress under control, which means we are going to be less effective in our various personal and professional roles," said APA CEO Arthur Evans Jr.

Eight in 10 respondents said the future of the nation is a significant source of stress, compared with 66% in a survey conducted in January 2017.

Seven in 10 respondents said the outcome of the 2020 presidential election is a significant source of stress, compared with 49% who said the same in 2017.

The current political climate was cited as a significant source of stress for 75% of respondents, compared with 57% in January 2017. Four in 10 said the political climate has caused strain between them and family members.

The survey also found that 64% of respondents feel stressed about the possibility of the presidential transition of power not being peaceful.

More than three-quarters (76%) of respondents said the coronavirus pandemic is a significant source of stress. More than a third (37%) said the level of stress they feel about the pandemic has increased over the past month.

"Many of us are already feeling the effects of chronic stress, such as fatigue, depression, stomach aches and trouble sleeping," Evans noted in an APA news release.

"The levels of stress that we're seeing can make it harder for us to stay healthy during the winter months when we're already more likely to get sick," he warned.

While 72% of respondents said the current amount of uncertainty in the United States causes them stress, 73% believe the nation will overcome its challenges as it has in the past, and 73% feel hopeful about their future.

The APA offered some tips on managing stress, including: taking a break from the news, social media and certain people; reflecting on good things that happen to you each day; and practicing self-care by taking walks, calling a friend or watching a funny show.

More information

For more on stress, see the U.S. National Institute of Mental Health.


SOURCE: American Psychological Association, news release, Nov. 19, 2020