Emotions taking over after Election Day? How to handle what you’ - KPTV - FOX 12

Emotions taking over after Election Day? How to handle what you’re feeling

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Source: CNN Source: CNN
Dr. Robin Henderson (KPTV) Dr. Robin Henderson (KPTV)

The presidential election has been a very emotional race for supporters on both sides and as the dust starts to settle, a psychologist is offering tips on handling anxieties, social media and even conversations with your kids.

“Today the biggest thing we can do as a family and as people with each other, even within our offices, is to talk to each other,” said Dr. Robin Henderson, a clinical psychologist and Chief Executive of Behavioral Health at Providence Medical Group. “We need to act with kindness, especially toward people we disagree with.”

Oregon voters do stand divided; nearly a million people in the state voted for Hillary Clinton, and nearly 800,000 Oregonians cast ballots for Donald Trump in Tuesday’s general election.

Now, Henderson said, there may be anxieties for people on both sides.

Due to public backlash over the election results, some Trump supporters may feel ostracized for speaking out or targeted for their beliefs. Meanwhile, Clinton supporters may feel crushed over her defeat and worried for the future of the country.

With such a charged public rhetoric and fierce opinions on both sides, Henderson said it may be a good time to disconnect from social media and reconnect with the real people in your life whom you love.

“You’re seeing one extreme or the other extreme and that causes us to believe that everything is that way, and the reality is that it’s not,” she said. “That’s just a very small, focused slice of an opinion and if that’s all your getting all the time, that’s all you’re going to see.”

When it comes to talking with your kids, she suggests keeping the conversation age appropriate, and reminding them that whatever happens in Washington D.C. doesn’t change the values you and your family hold dear.

“If you’re dealing with kids in elementary school you don’t want to go too deep into one scary side or the other scary side, it kind of comes back to we’re a family and this is our family unit and this is what we value and that’s not going to change,” she explained.

At the middle school level, she said parents should talk about not only their family values but those of their community and how the two fit together, reminding children to treat others who may disagree with respect while holding on to your individual values.

“When you deal with high school students it gets a little more difficult because those are the students who are really struggling with life’s existential questions, and they want to dig deeper,” she said. “So it’s important to take the time, take a walk, talk it all through, explore their fears and figure out what their worst case scenario is and then walk them back from that.”

Above all, Dr. Henderson said we need to focus on what we have in common, not what tears us apart.

And if all else fails?

“This is a great time to post a kitten video,” she said. “This is a great time to remind people there are other things in the world to talk about than just what’s going on in the political world.”

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