How to cope with post election anxiety

The election may be over but the emotional aftereffects can be difficult to manage
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The election may be over but the emotional aftereffects can be difficult to manage

In addition to handling mental health post election, students have reached the middle of the semester and are working to finish strong after adjusting to the new virtual learning conduction of class.

Resources are available for all students during these stressful times. According to the Humboldt State University’s website, “Counseling and Psychological Services (CAPS) promotes the well being of students through outreach, consultation, educational and counseling services.”

Students are able to utilize CAPS from traditional one-on-one counseling support, group therapy, Single Session Therapy, “Web-In Wednesdays,” a “walk-in” service for students, and on-call services from 9 a.m.-4 p.m. Mon-Fri.

The university also holds formalized events in the virtual quad for students to attend and discuss their mental health with professionals.

On Nov. 4, a student dialogue event was hosted to discuss the election.

The event was led by professional therapists and counselors of HSU. It was a safe environment and a fully confidential meeting where students were able to talk about their recent feelings surrounding the presidential election, the pandemic or anything else on their mind.

One of the hosts of the meeting, Cedric Aaron, is a multicultural specialist and staff psychotherapist at CAPS. His advice for students is to not ignore or minimize any feelings.

“If we distract ourselves to the point of ignoring them, then our wellness tank will overflow and spill out onto different areas of our lives,” Aaron said.

He also suggests students lean on their peers for emotional support even if it’s as simple as a text message or a written letter.

The election has not only affected students but many individuals in our community. Aaron, as a Black man and candidate in a local election in Humboldt County, has had to discover ways to manage his own stress and anxiety. His fear for our community intensified these past few months of elections.

“Maintaining a strong connection and being in space within my Black/BIPOC community was key in getting me through these stressful months,” Aaron said.

Paula Nedelcoff is a staff psychotherapist and community outreach coordinator at CAPS. She suggests movement is a good way to relieve stress. Whether it’s walking or talking out our feelings, movement is what works best for her.

“The faculty and staff at HSU are here for the students, we at CAPS want to support your needs,” Nedelcoff said.

For more information about confidential support, contact CAPS at (707) 826-3236, Humboldt County Mental Health at (707) 268-2900 or the 24-Hour County Crisis Line (707) 445-7715.

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