The election is over, but the anxiety persists

Joe Biden and Kamala Harris celebrate outside of the Chase Center in Wilmington, Delaware. Photo courtesy Reuters.

The months and days spent leading up to the Nov. 3 election was nothing short of chaos.

With so much riding on cleaning up the mess of the past four years, whether it be severed relationships with allies in other countries, the financial stability and support of our country and the most pressing issue — COVID-19 — the fight of the 2020 election gave everyone anxiety in one form or another.

Election anxiety is the constant fear of consequences, results and backlash leading up to voting, followed by the results leading up to the inauguration in January. Twitter has been the breeding ground for citizens to air out their grievances and fears surrounding election 2020.

Twitter handle @girlpower1999 spoke of her anxiety reaching extreme heights as she lost weight and struggled to eat. “I actually lost weight the closer it came to the election since my nerves were shot and my anxiety was through the roof,” she wrote.

This election carried immense historical milestones right behind President Barack Obama’s two terms, as Joe Biden exceeds Obama’s record for most votes cast for a presidential candidate. In addition, Kamala Harris became the first woman of color to be elected vice president.

This was the first election in which many members  of Generation Z got to vote, and  a lot of them deemed social media and the news coverage to be an addition to our stress.

Zanteria Nelson, a Florida State University senior, said, “Social media was a big influence when it came to this election. Every social media outlet was flooded with people’s opinions about what they think and how they suggest that things should go.”

Danielle “D.L” Mayfield, an Oregon-based author of “The Myth of the American Dream,” has been outspoken as it pertains to the current leadership of this country and the role that anxiety played as the election approached.

Shortly after the projected win for Biden was announced, Mayfield said her anxiety still lingered as President Trump refused to concede. “The election is over but my anxiety is currently sky-high. Trump is not conceding, Republicans are encouraging it.  I have no control over this.”

In an interview with The Famuan, she compared what it was like  during this election to 2016  with her experience as an educator and a deeply rooted Christian were her driving forces for hope. “In 2016 I was actually in my house with my entire prayer group. I think what made it worse is that we weren’t able to be in person and many people I know were reliving the trauma of 2016.

I sunk into a pretty bad depression and my husband who’s a therapist was just like, Yeah, your body is literally reliving everything that has happened in the last four years,” she said.

When asked how she managed to keep a level head  throughout the election and well afterwards, Nelson, the FSU student, said, “I was extremely strategic about my news consumption over this election but I decided if I am going to vote in this election and future ones, I need to lessen my time on social media and news channels and simply just do my own research.”

Maybe the nation could take a page out of Nelson’s book.

Now well into the waiting period for the inauguration of President-elect Biden, we watch as angry Trump supporters rally, terrifying messages of a possible “purging” of Black people  as well as praying away the possibility of an assassination, we continue to await the complete 180-degree change in policies and treatment that we were promised by Trump’s successors.