Are You Letting this Election Season Depress You?
Kitty Boitnott, Ph.D., NBCT, RScP
Career Transition and Job Search Coach | Licensed Minister
For today's video click here (it won't be what you expect).
I am sure I don't need to remind you that two weeks from today, on November 8th, we will be electing a new President of the United States and a new Senate and Congress.
I don't know about you, but I have to admit that I am a schizophrenic political junkie. I say "schizophrenic," because I truly have a love-hate relationship with politics in general. I grew to finally sour on most of the state politicians over the course of my four years in office as President of the Virginia Education Association. I saw little to boost my faith in the goodness of mankind during that time. What I saw were a bunch of pretty ruthless people hell-bent on getting their way by any means possible. It sickened me. In fact, it was the stress of that last year in office when I battled the Governor and the General Assembly their over wanting to eliminate continuing contract rights for teachers that wore me down to the point of my having to decide I needed to retire rather than to return to the classroom. I had become jaded and cynical, and I needed to get away from it all for a while. I was burned out on the whole political scene.
That was in 2012, and of course, there was a presidential election going on that fall, too, along with Hurricane Sandy. I watched with some interest the political campaigning of the fall of 2012, but I didn't feel fully engaged in it. I was still recovering, and I wasn't worried about the future of the country or what would happen to our status as the leader of the free world depending upon who won the election. I wish I could say the same this go round.
Now, I am not going to get into the specifics of our candidates, and I am certainly not going to ask you for whom will you vote or how you feel about either candidate. I am sure you are getting enough of that everywhere you go. Depending upon your politics, I know you have an opinion, so I don't have to tell you anything about this election. I am sure you are watching all that is unfolding for yourself, and you know as well as I what is at stake.
Having said all that, I have to ask you. Are you letting this election season depress you? Have you let it get to you? Have you allowed it to disrupt friendships? Because for a lot of people, the answer to all three of those questions is "Yes!"
The depression you may feel is likely due to all of the negativity that has been flying around through the airwaves. You can hardly turn on a TV or pick up a newspaper that you don't see some sort of dire warning coming at you regardless of the candidate you favor or watch.
I had to admit a few weeks ago that I had become a news junkie. I was watching the news and listening to all of the back and forth with both a sense of excitement and a sense of dread. I have been volunteering for my candidate of choice so that when the day after Election Day arrives, I will be certain in my own heart that I did everything I could on my personal part. I have come out of my political cocoon and gotten involved again.
But I am more than a little aware that for some people, this election has created serious dilemmas for them. Their stress levels are higher than ever before, and in some cases, friendships and family relationships are being impacted negatively.
If you fall into that category...if you are losing sleep over the outcome of this election or if you have begun to make plans for moving to Canada or Costa Rica, I invite you to read the statement in the graphic above from President John F. Kennedy. Whether you admired him as a President or not, you have to admit the man had a flair for rhetoric and oratory. He knew how to use language to lift us up and inspire us to want to be our better selves. It was a talent that his brother Robert and to a lesser degree, perhaps, another brother, Ted, shared.
Whenever I begin to lose faith in our political system, I remind myself that in spite of our flaws as political creatures and those of our leaders, what we all share in common is our love of country. We have all been blessed to have been born here or to have arrived here and to take part in the most prosperous nation in the world. Even if you find yourself at the lower end of the economic spectrum in this country, chances are you are way above the economic status of a very large portion of the world.
I posted this little video on my Facebook page yesterday. If you missed it or if you aren't (yet) a Facebook friend of mine, take a look. (And in case you didn't open it from above yet, do please take a look before you go.)
So, if the election season is depressing you, take heart. It will soon be over. Two weeks from today, the final ballots will be cast, and hopefully, by November 9th we will know who the new President is going to be and it will be by a wide enough margin that we don't have to suffer the suspense we experienced in 2000. But, don't forget, we survived that, too.
And when the rhetoric starts to get you down, think of President Kennedy's words and then watch the Facebook video. It will cheer you up...no matter what else may be going on around you.
Until next time.
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