Do You Have Election Stress Disorder?

by Thomas O'Grady

It’s my hope that each person who is a United States citizen reading this article practiced their constitutionally granted right and voted. With over 140-million votes cast, it’s apparent that individuals wanted their voice heard. You should feel good about yourself for participating. No matter how you view it though, the year 2020 has been one for the books. If I had to take a guess, I would imagine that many people are feeling high levels of stress.

Not to make light of the situation of the world we find ourselves in, but for the sake of your health, grab your sneakers, lace them up, and head out the door and get some exercise this weekend. Whether it is a run, a power walk, or a light jog, we could all use some of the feel-good endorphins that a little long-distance effort provides. In the 1960s, President John F. Kennedy rallied a nation with one question, “Ask not what your country can do for you — ask what you can do for your country”. While you are on your run this weekend ask yourself one question — what can you do for your health?

We are a county in need of rallying. And what you can do for your country is to take care of your mind, body, and spirit. What you do for your health, much like voting, will cast a ballot towards the greater good of the health of the country. It doesn’t even have to take that much time! The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends adults exercise for 150-minutes a week, or 30-minutes on five separate days. And this weekend is the perfect time to set aside one or two of those 30-minute sessions and vote up your health. It’s likely that in the process of getting out the door for a quick run, you will find yourself feeling happier. While this session may not be enough to create a runner’s high, it will certainly be enough to provide a clearer head and improved mood. With a calmer mind, you will be better prepared to face the continued challenges and obstacles that the 2020 world has thrown at society.

It’s as easy as that and for this weekend that is all you should focus on from a fitness perspective — just getting out the door for a run and getting in 30-minutes of decompression time on the roads or trails. Focus on relaxing and enjoying the feeling of the air against your face as you move along. When you finish, take some time to quietly reflect. Gather your thoughts and make a commitment. Make that 30-minute session a vote towards your health and the greater health of the country in the year to come.


Originally published in Runners Life on November 6, 2020.  We thank Tom for sharing and giving us much needed advice and comfort!!  Stay calm and go for a walk or run!!

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