CAPS offers advice for election stress

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A sign sits outside the BYU CAPS office during Fall Semester. BYU CAPS has some advice for students who are experiencing increased stress due to election week. (Preston Crawley)

Stress is high as election drama drags on and misinformation about the voting process runs rampant.

Nearly 70% of Americans are experiencing election-related stress, according to a recent survey from the American Psychological Association, and 77% are concerned about the future of the country.

BYU Counseling and Psychological Services (CAPS) psychologist Klint Hobbs has some advice on how to cope. He said students need to first and foremost take care of themselves.

“It can be so easy to be consumed by the contention in our society these days. Being active and involved is vital, but there comes a point where you have to recharge yourself,” Hobbs. “Know when to tune out.”

He also encouraged students to focus on self-care, which he said includes getting enough sleep and sticking to a sleep schedule, eating healthy, socializing in a COVID-19 appropriate way and relying on the support of friends and others.

CAPS has not experienced an election-related rise in demand for its services and has not seen such a rise in previous election cycles. Hobbs acknowledged, however, that students of color can experience strains on mental health related to the political atmosphere. CAPS recently hosted a Racial Stress Awareness Week to better support students of color as they deal with these issues.

Students who are experiencing increased stress can contact CAPS for a quickcare appointment, which is a one-time appointment scheduled within a week. If students are in crisis, CAPS does have some same-day crisis appointments, according to Hobbs.

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