From election drama to Black Lives Matter protests and debates about the merits of various COVID interventions, political instability is the name of the game in 2021.
While it’s important to remain informed and engaged, our emotional and physical health matters too — and both have been negatively impacted by the political difficulties of the past several months. Keep reading to discover why our health is at stake and what we can do to address the problem:
How Political Instability Harms Our Health
Political problems manifest in poor health due to both the poor execution of public policies, and also, the damage that accompanies the mental burden of living during times of unrest. Chief areas of concern include:
- Ineffective rollout of health care and economic initiatives, especially in the low-income communities disproportionately impacted by political turmoil.
- Increased mental health problems such as depression, which are linked to substance abuse and a variety of physical health concerns.
- Insomnia caused by anxiety. Sleepless nights can lead to a variety of problems, including compromised immune function and higher blood pressure.
Options For Staying Healthy in an Unstable Environment
A healthy lifestyle may seem impossible in the midst of social and political upheaval, but even incremental improvements can counter the worst effects of a tumultuous society:
- Limit social media use. Political rhetoric tends to be inflamed on platforms such as Facebook and Twitter. Consider taking an extended break, or turning off notifications to limit how often you look at accounts throughout the day.
- Seek preventative care. Don’t neglect general checkups, which can uncover many of the most common health problems brought about by political instability.
- Try meditation. Even a few minutes of deep breathing can bring a much-needed sense of calm to an otherwise stressful environment.