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Political anxieties rise as Biden inauguration approaches

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BLUEFIELD, W.V. (WVVA) -- There is no doubt political tensions are running high in America right now. In fact, those tensions are fueling significant anxiety for some.

As President-Elect Joe Biden's inauguration approaches, WVVA talked to local residents about their fears of the future.

"Just hoping that I'll be able to continue to work and everyone else that actually lives check to check will be able to continue to work," said Lee Pruitt in response to what he hopes the future would hold.

Nathan Keller worried about the nation's economy. "I worry that the prices of everything are going to go up so much that a lot of people are going to have issues paying their mortgages and their rent."

Another Mercer County resident, Mark Harry, says he sees the continuation of the decline of coal. "I worry about our coal and our gas industry, now that we have a new administration, you see some of the effect that the Komatsu layoffs have had, that's just the start of it," said Harry. "I think that people don't know and the sense of not knowing creates that fear."

Mental health experts like Dr. Emily Boothe, a psychiatrist at the The Behavioral Health Pavilion of the Virginia's, says the first step to fight political anxieties is to remember you're allowed to feel this way. "During times that are anxiety provoking, and times that are confusing, it's okay to feel anxious, it's okay to feel worried," said Booth. "It's situation appropriate."

If political anxieties are affecting your diet, sleep, or even your relationships, there are medications to help. But if you want to avoid a pharmaceutical solution, refocusing in on simple things like exercise, journaling, or even talking with a friend, all can provide some relief. One sure way to reduce this kind of anxiety is to cut the technological cord.

"Is this something where folks just need to slow down, and kind of reassess their situation at home and find what can they do to keep themselves well," said Boothe in response to what people should consider when feeling under pressure. "Do they need to set a limit on the news, do they need to limit social media, to kind of give themselves a break."

There are mental health resources across the two Virginias, so if you believe you need the help of a professional, reach out to one in your community.

Behavioral Health Pavilion of the Virginias Crisis Referral Line: (304)-325-4681

Christina Kass

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