Post-Election Stress

11-06-2020Weekly Flocknote MessageFr. James Aboyi, V.C.

If you are feeling on edge right now with the post-election stress, please know that it is normal. Many others are feeling that way too. We are now overwhelmed with the accumulation of stressors from the global pandemic, increasing division and hostility leading to the election and post-election, the racial division within our cities, the unsteady economy and widespread wildfires. It is obvious that many people are experiencing having sleepless nights, especially as they anticipate the results of the election.

A report from the American Psychological Association (APA) indicates that more than two-thirds of U.S. adults (68%) say that the 2020 U.S. Presidential Election is a significant source of stress in their life, a large increase from the 2016 Presidential Election when 52% said the same. The survey also found that regardless of political affiliation, majorities say that the election is a significant source of stress (76% of Democrats, 67% of Republicans and 64% of Independents). This study was conducted one month prior to the election. Obviously, these numbers are significantly higher right now as a result of the prolonged vote counting process. Please remember that this time of testing will soon be behind us.

I appeal to everyone to not take the electoral process and the outcome of the election too personally. If your candidate or party happens to win, try not to make fun of the others and do not make life miserable for those who hold opposite views. On the other hand, if your candidate or party loses the election, please accept it in the spirit of sportsmanship. There is always going to be another time to contest again. You may consider participating in Adoration of the Blessed Sacrament in any nearby Church or try private meditation and prayers to hand over all your worries to the Lord. Here are some other suggestions from the APA and other experts on how to manage the post-election related stress:

  • Uncertainty is frequently stressful, and some people are better at dealing with uncertainty than others. Avoid dwelling on things you cannot control. When uncertainty strikes, many people immediately imagine worst-case scenarios. Break the habit of ruminating on bad outcomes.
  • Focus on what you can control. If following the news, watching the debates or scrolling through social media is causing you stress, limit your media consumption. Give yourself permission to take a break from the news.
  • Engage in meaningful activities. Rather than fixating on news coverage, find an activity that you really enjoy and spend time doing it. Get involved in issues that are meaningful to you.
  • Stay socially connected. Go for a walk or spend time with friends and family. Research shows that people who have at least one or two friends or family members to turn to for emotional support during stressful times tend to cope better than people who don’t have such support.
  • Stay active. Moving helps us release the energy we experience when we feel stressed.
  • Keep busy with things that you enjoy and stay connected to social support so that you aren’t continually checking for what could be viewed as “bad” news.
  • Create healthy habits such as meditation, taking a walk, reading a book, doing exercise, etc to help you deal with stress. Make sure you get enough sleep, eat a healthy diet, and avoid using alcohol or drugs to cope. Read More here.

Other Resources.

Plenary Indulgence During the Pandemic

As we continue to pray for the repose of the souls of our loved ones who have gone before us through this month of November, I am glad to inform you that the Holy Father, through the Apostolic Penitentiary, has graciously extended the period to obtain the indulgence through the month of November. Please click on this link for a full copy of the Decree of the Apostolic Penitentiary on Plenary Indulgences for the deceased faithful in the current pandemic. Find out more about the Church’s teaching on Plenary Indulgence.

Parish Cookbook

Congratulations to Judy Amadee for winning the “Name Award” for our Parish Cookbook. The name selected by the judges is “St. Ben’s Bites” submitted by Judy. Over 50 names were submitted for the book with over 100 recipes. I thank Lani Gore, the members of the Event Ministry and Parish Staff for this wonderful initiative. Thanks also to everyone who participated in this project. We are working on the final design and will soon have the book available in a digital format for download on our parish website.

Have a Wonderful Weekend and Remain Blessed.

Fr. James Aboyi, VC