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Feeling Stressed While Waiting For Election Results? Experts Say Stay Active, Don't Isolate Yourself And Take Breaks

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) -- The outcome of the presidential election is still up in the air, and the unknown is really doing a number on some people.

Many Americans are feeling a lot of anxiety as the final votes are counted.

CBS2's Hazel Sanchez went searching for ways to help bring peace to frazzled minds.

Harry Schwartz says he didn't get much sleep last night.

"How are you feeling today?" Sanchez asked.

"Very uneasy. Yes, uneasy and distressed," he said.

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He's definitely not alone. Anxious voters have been glued to their phones, or any news source, awaiting the results of the presidential race.

Schwartz decided to get some fresh air to clear his head.

"We should go for a walk. Beautiful day for not knowing where things are going to go," he said.

One yoga instructor says channeling anxiety into movement can also help center your mind and body. (Credit: CBS2)

Staying active is a great idea, says psychiatrist Dr. Deborah Marin.

Bottled up anxiety can make you mentally and physically ill. She says don't isolate; stay connected with the people you care about. You don't have to turn off social media or the news, just take breaks to quiet your mind.

"It's just dosing yourself with a lot of anxiety. It's like looking at the Twin Towers coming down again and again and again. It's not helpful," Marin said.

Yoga instructor Aliza Stone Howard says channeling anxiety into movement can also help center your mind and body.

"Moving in a very mindful way, where you're forging a connection between your breath and your body and your mental state, it's really like a perfect remedy," she said.

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"Right now, I'm prepared for the worst," Harlem resident Corey Ortega said.

Cathedral of St. John the Divine is holding a daily post-election prayer vigil. (Credit: CBS2)

Stressing over the unknown, Ortega found comfort in a higher power outside the Cathedral of St. John the Divine, where they've begun a daily post-election prayer vigil.

"Have the strength to move through what's happening with calm and love rather than with violence and hatred," said Father Patrick Malloy.

"I don't really sit with my thoughts much," Ortega said. "I haven't said Our Father since back in Catholic school in a while, so it made me feel at peace."

Experts say there is an upside to the uncomfortable feelings you may be having when you find a way to manage them.

"You made a difference. You did something. The votes mattered," Marin said.

Being able to find peace with what's beyond your control is a win for personal growth.

Some meditation apps have reported a spike in usage as people look for ways to cope with the election and the pandemic.


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