How to Maintain Self-Care During the Election

Written By Elena Bengel

The 2020 presidential election is here, and for most of Point Park University, it is a very important event. A good majority of the students at PPU are going to be voting for the first time, and that has caused a great deal of stress.

This upcoming election is considered to be one of the most controversial elections in history. It is between Republican President Donald Trump and Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden. Not only is this election occurring amid a worldwide pandemic, but it has gained quite the attention of the media. Students and other staff members around PPU were asked as to how they maintained stress levels during this hectic time.

According to the New York Times, over 90 million ballots have been cast so far and over 3 million absentee ballots have been requested in Pennsylvania alone. For many students at Point Park University who are not going home for the election, mail-in ballots are being requested.

Not only are students stressed for the first time voting, but the stress also expands to the problems surrounding mail-in voting. Point Park officials and students  are attempting to placate the nervousness spreading around campus.

The Point Park University Counseling Center has been doing as much as they can to help students during this election. Kurt Kumler, the director of the Counseling Center, and the staff sent out multiple emails regarding “Mindfulness Classes” via Zoom. They also plan on sending out a flier to the students regarding election stress and self-care, reminding everyone to unplug and refuel.

“This is all put in the hands of the youth,” Zoe Vitelli, a sophomore and producer for U-View, said. “Where we get lost is that we get too emotionally attached.”

Vitelli claims that the best way for students to handle the stress about the election is that they need to get involved, so they understand and are prepared for what could happen.

Like Vitelli, Carlo Andreassi, a freshman who is dual majoring in public relations and political science and is also hosting the election for WPPJ, believes the best way to get through the election is to not get emotionally tied. He refers to a quote from the book “In Defensive Evil: Why Good is Bad and Bad is Good” by T.J. Kirk, which says “In order to care about the world I have to disconnect myself from it and look at it from an outsider’s perspective as if I’m an alien.”

Andreassi believes that it is okay to be angered and upset for something to not go your way, especially if you believe it is in the best interest of the country, but to not let it affect your mental health.

“Whenever I get overwhelmed or stressed, I do things that keep me occupied,”  Andreassi said. 

Natalea Hillen, another freshman and broadcast major at PPU, has dealt with her personal feeling of stress in preparation for the election and advised other students to “relax and do something that makes you happy” to lull the edge.

No matter what occurs after the election, the country is going to move on and society is going to have to adapt. 

“Self-care is important all the time,” Andreassi said. “Not just during the election.”