Wordsanctuary Revisited

Musings of a writer-teacher-counselor.

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Location: Cleveland, Ohio, United States

I am inquisitive and have worked in writing, editing, and teaching. I am a citizen of the USA and also concerned about the world. This is an addendum to my original blog, Wordsanctuary. That's at www.wordsanctuary.blogspot.com Please check out my column at www.insidehighered.com, "A Kinder Campus." Click on Career Advice to find it. Thanks for stopping by.

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Post-Election Stress Disorder

Have you made it through this election cycle? Almost? Well, start early on your self care. Now is the time to take a break from federal dollars stretching into 18 digits and local problems that could keep even the soundest sleeper up all night. There is a very good reason why calculators stop where they do and our bodies are programmed for breaks every 24 hours. Catch the warning signs of Post Election Stress Disorder.

1. Adrenalin Surplus.

If the music they play on campaign ads is running through your head during the day, stop watching TV or YouTube campaign spots immediately. That suggests adrenalin-surplus, which can lead to adrenal drain, blockage, even backlog. There is no plumber or therapist (and their costs are about the same) who can rescue you if you don’t stop now to address these serious symptoms.

Rx: Play any other music – even tunes to children’s shows. Calm down.

2. Blog Fog.

What were “they” thinking when the internet became a reality? Any freshman English teacher could have warned that reading page after page after page of hastily-written, uneven prose induces bodily fatigue, eye strain, cognitive overload, and all-around stress. And the words blog and fog rhyme. Coincidence? I think not.

Rx: If your thinking grows foggy from too much that is soggy and bloggy, curl up with a 19th century novel. Human nature is there, intact, and it won’t obstruct your writing style (too much).

3. Civility Insufficiency.

If you are weary of hearing political commentary in the workplace, you may be deficient on your necessary daily dose of Civility. You don’t want that person over in the next cubicle, let’s say to the left, have his candidate elected to public office, but you also don’t want the preferred candidate of that person over the next cubicle, let’s say to the right, elected, considering what she said …. (If you don’t like my directions: Invert them. I’ve always had difficulty distinguishing left from right anyway.)

Rx: It’s time to take down cubicles, sit in a circle and sing Kumbaya. All must agree on something – and use civil language -- before heading to lunch.

4. Dysvotia.

If you are becoming cynical and feel yourself thinking: “what’s the point?” or even considering not casting a ballot at all, recognize these as danger signs of encroaching dysvotia. Like dyslexia and dysthymia, there is help. And yes: There is a point to it all.

Rx: Back to basics. Read the Constitution.

5, Jousting Fantasies.

You’re thinking: “Maria, surely you jest. You can’t mean that candidates should joust instead of talk?” That is what I propose. Tired of warmed-over bromides, platitudes, outtakes from stump speeches? Even the word “stump” suggests something cut off, not viable …

Rx: Joust away. If that’s too active, envision something tamer. A spelling bee, perhaps. Just choose words that are really hard for the candidates.

6. Kids-r-them.

If your stress is high observing candidate families, imagine your own kids in a high-stakes election. Would they pout? Contradict you? Embarrass themselves? Text without stopping? Maybe our obsession with candidates’ kids is their ideal personae. Maybe it’s the relief that our own kids have been spared the ordeal of scrutiny.

Rx: There is something redemptive about our ability to have hope for the next generation. Hold on to that.

Money Cravings.

Full disclosure: I have not enjoyed handling money since the sunny days of childhood when I played Monopoly, with crisp, colorful money in neat stacks with rubber bands. Everything since then has been gritty, hard to get, easy to lose. Money worries don’t cease for most during an election.

Rx: Try a new game. Divide estimated two billion spent on presidential election alone. Share with every man, woman, and child so all can buy a book on logical fallacies to study thoroughly before the next election.


You are very weary because you pretend to be neutral so you don’t have to go head-to-head with your decidely partisan friend, co-worker, colleague, and so on. You may wonder as your pulse races and your hands get clammy, if you can maintain this stance in the final days of the election.

Rx: Do maintain classic Carl Rogers or Bob Newhart stance with nod and “tell me more.” Just add a powerful visualization: “My fingers are in my ears and I can’t hear you!”


Campaign mail stacking up? Heal, don’t hoard.

Rx: Get shredder for last-minute promotional material blitz. No funds to buy one? Organize a shredding party.


You know what that critical Vitamin Z is. a universal need. Catch some if you have been up too late, deciding. It’s the best way to circumvent Post Election Stress Disorder.