'People are just unbelievably on edge': Mental health counselor provides tips to alleviate election-induced anxiety

FAYETTEVILLE, N.C. (WTVD) -- The year 2020 has been overwhelming to say the least.

So far, Americans have endured an ongoing global pandemic, natural disasters like hurricanes, tornados and wild fires, demonstrations, protests, civil unrest, and now, one of the biggest presidential elections in modern history.

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"You know, you add the election to all that and people are just unbelievably on edge," said Alida Mason, a licensed Clinical Mental Health Counselor and co-owner of the Haymount Institute in Fayetteville.

The mental health counselor said anxiety and emotions are at an all-time high for Americans.

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"'Is my ballot going to be counted, if I'm an absentee ballot? Am I going to be intimidated? Is there going to be election violence?' We've never had that kind of worry before," Mason said.

Mason told ABC11 that the fear of the unknown, along with the implications of this election, are creating a perfect storm of emotions for people on both sides of the political spectrum.

She credits people's constant connection to social media and the news cycle for inciting some of that fear and worry. Mason recommends logging off and disconnecting to help ease some of those concerns, especially for the next few days. She goes on to say that the key to alleviating some of the stress is by realizing that your life won't drastically change after Tuesday.

"Stick with the people that keep you calm and talk and communicate with the people who keep you grounded," Mason said. She said individuals should try to avoid people, who they know, that can easily ignite their emotions.

Mason also recommends that people work to express their emotions and opinions in a civil and respectful manner, no matter who wins the presidency.

"Eventually, despite people's emotions, we're going to calm down, and we're going to be a country, again," said Mason.

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