If you were a Mitt Romney supporter, this is likely a rough morning for you. This election was incredibly emotionally charged, and those who rooted so passionately for red are certainly feeling the sting this morning, in addition to the hangover anyone may have from that final Mitt-tini.
It's not easy to be on the losing side, but somebody has to be. Knowing that, however, doesn't make going forward any less painful. So how do people who fought hard for the candidate they thought would be best to run this country deal with the blow that he won't be doing so? I talked to two experts who gave some great advice to people reeling from the Romney loss, and here's what they had to say.
Dr. Raphael Wald, a psychologist with Palm Beach Psychology Associates in Boca Raton, Florida, said social media has heightened people's emotional stake in this game. "I think social media creates an environment that we cannot escape from. In the old days we could just put down the newspaper and shut off the TV if we didn't want to be bombarded with election information. I think this makes people feel more emotionally charged and invested in the election since it is inescapable."
But he said that it's important for people to remember that campaigns are created to make you think that your world will end if the other candidate is elected. "We have been through numerous elections and people have been disappointed in every single one. Nonetheless, we are still here, living and breathing despite all of the doomsday campaigning."
He went on to suggest: "People who focus on things they cannot change tend to be unhappy and easily agitated. Focus on what you can do and continue to 'play the best card in a bad hand.'"
He said that continued frustration over a loss can serve as a stressor that ultimately leads to depression, anxiety, or medical problems such as heart conditions. "If things do not get better after a short time, it is probably time to talk to a psychologist about your issues."
Dr. Gail Saltz, a psychiatrist, psychoanalyst, best-selling author, and television commentator, says that when your candidate loses, you must ask yourself, what is best for the health of the country and your future -- maintaining dissent, digging in your heels, and trying to prevent anything from happening, or finding ways to engage in the conversation in a CONSTRUCTIVE way?
"We want our elected officials to reach across the aisle so that things actually get done that desperately need to, individuals have to try to think the same way ... find ways to compromise, be invested in a healthy future as opposed to winning or losing."
She went on to say that holding a grudge is extremely unhealthy, and people need to learn to let go of the loss.
"The candidates do not disagree on everything, so finding places you can see agreement, respectfully disagreeing is also fine ... we can agree to disagree, and accepting that the majority has spoken and giving yourself some time to feel disappointed which is normal but ultimately regrouping to see how you can with integrity intact add to the betterment of your community."
She continued: "We all have competitive spirit, and that is healthy, but letting this election become only about having your candidate win and reacting purely with sour grapes or wrath if they don’t (and undermining the agenda of whoever does) is not only unhealthy for you as an individual, it is unhealthy for our country as a better future will require working together. So be bummed for a week or two, then dig down deep and think beyond yourself to the greater good of a great nation."
How are you feeling today?
Image via Alex E. Proimos/Flickr