Therapist offers mental health advice during election season

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) — We’re now only three days away from the Presidential Election.

During these uncertain times, mental health advocates are pushing people to take care of themselves.

“You know that $1,000 is going to be withdrawn, you need to make some deposits,” said Dr. Valencia Agnew, a psychologist with Adolescent & Family Behavioral Health Services in Grand Rapids.

Agnew says taking care of your mental health is like a bank account, meaning if you know you’ll potentially get upset about something, it’s best to prepare in advance.

“I feel like a lot of people are running on fumes right now,” said Agnew. “There’s not just the election, it’s the political climate right now. This isn’t a normal election.”

When it comes to being upset, she wants people to know they’re not alone.

“It’s really a very stressful time for everyone. That means it’s important for everyone to do self care,” said Agnew.

Some forms of self care can include unplugging, like turning off your phone or television, or taking part in different activities such as reading or exercise.

“It can’t be optional. It can’t be I don’t have enough time for it because you will pay a price for not having enough time,” said Agnew.

Come Election Day, Agnew says if you are struggling afterwards, don’t be afraid to reach out for help.

“Knowing that the person I vote for may or may not win and thinking about how am I going to be okay,” said Agnew.