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Universities help students cope with Election Day stress

Universities across the nation are striving to help students cope with the stress of Election Day, such as offering tips on managing anxieties and events to help absorb election results.

Take Virginia Commonwealth University, which posted a six-point guide on how to “cope with election stress.”

The advice includes suggesting students: “unplug,” to stay informed but not constantly scroll their newsfeed; “be present … give yourself permission to feel vcuthe way you do”; “find a healthy escape,” such as exercise, journaling or meditating; “connect,” to hang with allies and friends, but “limit conversation that has potential to get heated”; “refuel” by drinking lots of water and getting plenty of rest; and finally “do something” through volunteering and advocacy.

“Election season is here and it’s important to practice self care,” the VCU Office of Multicultural Student Affairs noted on its Nov. 2 Facebook post.

University of Rochester’s Counseling Center posted a guided, two-minute meditation to help students handle their “election stress.”

And a note posted on Facebook by the University of Iowa’s Counseling Service lets students know the center “is here for you should you need to process through your experience of the presidential election.” The center also linked to an article that offers “Six Ways To Manage Election Stress With Mindfulness.”

Similarly, the University of Washington Counseling Center posted an article on “how to cope if your candidate loses on Election Day,” linking to a USA Today article headlined: “A 12-step plan for what to do if your candidate loses on Election Day.”

Wake Forest University counseling posted an article titled “Election stress is a real thing,” noting the write up also “contains tips to help people manage their stress related to the election.”

The University of Illinois’ Counseling Center noted in a Nov. 2 post “we’re a little less than a week out from Election Day. This campaign season has been especially stressful for many. How to stay strong and manage stress,” linking to a Psychology Today article titled “5 Ways to Stay Mentally Strong During Campaign Season.”

The advice therein? “Save your breath. Set healthy boundaries. Think realistically about the future. Limit your media consumption. View election season as an opportunity.”

A viewing party at East Carolina University hosted by the Political Science department and Center for Student Leadership and Engagement is billed by one student as a “safe space” for students to watch the results.

“It is important to have it on campus, so they know they are in a safe space and can say how they feel about the process and let it be kind of an open forum,” Erick Jenkins, a student vote everywhere ambassador at the CSLE, told the East Carolinian campus newspaper.

Allegheny College is hosting two post-Election Day decompression events for faculty and students “who wish to process the election in an open and welcoming space.”

“On Election Day, we are mindful that for many of us this election season has been particularly troublesome and discomfiting. Its aftermath may be just as, if not more, difficult to navigate,” the college states on its website.

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