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Post Election Traumatic Stress Disorder

PETSD - It's real!

Over the last 90 days we, as a country, have experienced more election stress than I have ever witnessed. Personally, I have heard close friends and family members resort to vile language and physical intimidation tactics to get their point across. It has triggered a gamut of emotional responses from my own past traumas and includes the awareness of the traumatic experiences of my ancestors.

Now that the election is over, we face a new kind of stress – Post Election Traumatic Stress Disorder - PETSD. Wherever you sit along the party lines you have felt the uneasiness of this unprecedented election.

What is stress? Stress is change and because everything is always changing and moving, we feel stress on a regular basis. Simply put stress is our response, physically, spiritually and emotionally, to certain changes that happen in day to day life. Sometimes it’s good stress and sometimes it’s bad stress. When those changes are extreme and prolonged, fearful and painful, it can be deadly.

When working properly, stress helps you stay focused, energetic, and alert. In emergency situations, stress can save your life – giving you extra strength to defend yourself, for example, or spurring you to slam on the brakes to avoid an accident.

For many of us this campaign seemed to create feelings of anger, deep seated anger, confusion, divisiveness, fear, and anxiety. It doesn’t’ stop there. Many have experienced physical symptoms, as well: restlessness, insomnia, that literal “knot” in your stomach, even headaches.

What can you do now that the election is over if you are experiencing any symptoms of PETSD? GET HELP!

The best way to manage stress is to avoid it. Since that is not always an option there are a wide range of tools available to help manage it, to take control of it, including: psychotherapy, drugs, meditation, and exercise.

When help isn’t immediate, here are 7 basic PESTD stress relievers that you can include in your life now:

  1. Lean into it - Take one small step, then another. Each baby step leads to successfully reducing stress.

  2. Meditation/Mindfulness – begin a practice, even if only for a few minutes at a time. Simply start with a few deep breaths whenever you are feeling anxious or out of sorts. Think of something or someone that brings you joy.

  3. Exercise – Walk, jog, do yoga, hit the gym, dance – whatever it is that causes your body to move. Studies have shown that 30 minutes of walking a day can not only reduce stress levels, it can help with high blood pressure, weight loss and more.

  4. Eat Healthier – Feed your body, mind and soul the foods that support your overall well-being. Pay attention to when something you eat isn’t sustaining you.

  5. Learn something new - Unsure of what’s happening around you, how is it affecting you? Get a mentor, develop your intuition, take a class, and act.

  6. Give back - We all want the same basic things in life. Be a leader by helping someone else through this difficult change, through any change. You might be surprised at how it helps heal your own life.

  7. Soul Retrieval – Soul Retrieval is a shamanic spiritual practice that fosters healing of soul loss. Soul loss can occur whenever we experience trauma. For many, this election has triggered many buried feelings and issues.

These techniques, and many others, can easily be incorporated into your life right NOW. When practiced on a regular basis, they can seriously reduce feelings of PETSD or any stressors.

For more information on meditation and healthy eating, or to schedule a soul session visit:

P.S. Get the details on the I Meditation Project launch by registering at