As the country heads to the polls today, the uncertainty around the General Election will generate feelings of anxiety for many people, says our member Lesley Ludlow.
Millions of people are casting their votes in the third election in less than five years, following those in 2015 and 2017.
Polling stations in 650 constituencies across England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland opened at 7am and will close at 10pm.
Counting will begin straight away, with most of the results due to be announced in the early hours of Friday morning.
Lesley, Chair of our Private Practice Division, said for many people uncertainty, lack of control and the prospect of change will play on their emotions, regardless of how they vote.
She said: “This election is different because people are divided – it’s a unique situation that the leaders of the two main political parties create a lot of reaction either way – and that can be unsettling.
“The uncertainty of what’s going to happen will bring up anxiety, particularly for people who need to know where they are heading and what they are going into.”
Lesley said there are steps you can take to reduce the stress and anxiety around a General Election.
“It’s important that you vote but after that the result is out of your control,” she said. “You’ll be wasting a lot of energy trying to control something that is unobtainable.
“If you know that you are anxious, particularly around change and uncertainty then distance yourself from the situation and do something different to distract yourself.
“It’s recognising there is not much you can do, whichever way the vote has gone, but you can focus on keeping yourself balanced.
“Be aware of your emotions and recognise what’s coming up, but don’t allow them to control how you respond.
“It's about self-care and doing something that will help you feel relaxed and less stressed. It’s about looking after yourself.”
If you want to find a counsellor or psychotherapist who can help you with anxiety, visit our Therapist directory.