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Psychologist offers five tips for managing socio-political stress

If you’re reeling from the news and the political strife in our country, you’re not alone. You may benefit from some coping methods suggested by the Department of Psychology in the Eberly College of Arts and Sciences at West Virginia University. Shari Steinman, assistant professor of clinical psychology who researches anxiety disorders, and two graduate students, Gabby Ponzini and Kelsey Evey, created five simple tips:

Woman smiling in blue button-up shirt
Shari Steinman
  1. Accept your emotions. In the next few weeks, you may experience a range of emotions (e.g., sad, anxious, angry). Instead of judging yourself for having these emotions, allow yourself to feel them. Accepting your emotions is healthier than trying to stop your emotions.
  2. Be informed but take breaks. Pick one reputable source to gather your information. Set time limits to how often you check this news source.
  3. Talk. Take time to connect with people you trust. It can be helpful to discuss your negative emotions and worries with others. Talking can help us gain perspective and stop thinking about the worst-case scenario!
  4. Engage in self-care. Focus on things you enjoy—take a walk, watch a movie, play a game. Find time for the activities that help you relax.
  5. Find a therapist. Consider talking to a professional. WVU provides free therapy for students at the Carruth Center. Call 304-293-4431.