How to do politics without going crazy?

Maybe you are going crazy … but you’re not alone.

According to the American Psychological Association’s “Stress in America” survey, 77% of Democrats and 62% of Republicans said politics was a significant source of stress and anxiety.
Personally, I believe Democrats report more stress than Republicans simply because we have to put up with them. Can you spell “Trump”?

Here are some symptoms of politically induced stress, most of which are feelings we do to ourselves. See if any of these describe you:

  • Restless — not sure if you signed the back of petition.

  • Difficulty concentrating — can’t figured out how MiniVAN works.

  • Irritable — too much phone banking.

  • Headaches, unexplained pains — just happen with no cause.

  • Difficulty sleeping — often associated with fundraising

  • Any dream involving petitions

Everyone experiences some of these symptoms in their regular lives, but if you work or volunteer in politics, there’s a good chance you have more than a few — even without a contested primary!

So, how do you do politics without going crazy? Here’s my take on some common-sense advice.

  1. Don’t forget to eat. Success in politics, as in life, starts with good nutrition — so try limiting pizza nights to once a week.

  2. Stay hydrated. My doctor insists soft drinks and beer don’t count — just plain water several times a day.

  3. Get some exercise. Canvassing is a form of exercise, but make sure you’re not getting all worked up when your walking list includes a bunch of irritable Republicans.

  4. Get some sleep. Most people need a solid 8 hours out of every 24. It’s best if the 8 hours are consecutive, not my routine of 2 hours sleep + 1 hour watching MSNBC and CNN + 3 hours sleep + 30 minutes looking for the leftover pizza + 30 minutes aimlessly surfing the web while eating the pizza + 1 hour trying to wake up.

  5. As much as this may be difficult for you, walk away from your computer every once in a while.

And I hope you know by now that not every story is really “Breaking News.”

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