People experiencing 'fear and anxiety' ahead of November election, health professionals say

Stressed and anxious is how some Atlanta area health professionals said this presidential race has many people feeling ahead of election day.

Licensed Clinical Social Worker Moneik Richardson told FOX 5 News a lot of her clients "are, kind of, at a breaking point."

One thing experts said you can do is vote early because it can give you a feeling of control.

According to the American Psychological Association, most adults from both parties cite the political climate as a significant source of stress in their life: 62% of Republicans and 77% of Democrats.

"People feel like the country is in a worse state," Shaketa Robinson-Bruce, a Licensed Professional Counselor, explained.

Sign up for FOX 5 email alerts

From TV and radio ads to social media, experts said it can be hard to get away from politics right now including local campaigns.

"I have clients that are in minority groups and clients who are not in minority groups. Their stress is on the side of wanting to see the change, wanting to support our minority groups. A lot of them I talk to are, kind of, wrestling with their feelings and how much they should be feeling," Richardson detailed.

Richardson, who owns Fit Life Wellness further explained what her clients are feeling.

"A lot of my clients have expressed a lot of fear and anxiety with just the unknown of the upcoming election and just the weight of it. It's very unsettling," she detailed.

It's an unsettling feeling Robinson-Bruce said was not helped by Tuesday night's presidential debate.

"It kind of just left people feeling a sense of hopelessness because it was bad," she told FOX 5's Brian Hill.

Download the FOX 5 Atlanta app for breaking news and weather alerts.

Those emotions are what the health professionals told us they're helping clients work through ahead of the November election.

Robinson-Bruce said "setting boundaries with yourself;  not spending too much time going down rabbit holes of information."

She went on to explain saying "making time to do something that's relaxing. Then looking at what's in your control, what can you do something about."

Richardson said she helps people validate their feelings.

"First, I just help them to validate that you have feelings as a human being. A lot of our clients are actually looking to learn more so they can work on themselves and be part of the change," she detailed.

Experts said you can also take a break from social media or TV to avoid ads and political commentary.

The APA also reported 56% of Americans to identify the 2020 presidential election as a significant stressor.

That's up from 52% in 2016.

Another tip from health professionals is avoiding overly-opinionated people. They say also find a cause or organization to get involved with.