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Michigan Medicine

A Minute with Marschall

Managing Election-Related Stress

October 22nd, 2020

The following Guest Post was written by Kirk J. Brower, MD, Chief Wellness Officer for Michigan Medicine

As we face our national election, many of us are feeling anxiety, anger, or a mixture of both. We can experience these feelings no matter where we stand on the political spectrum. The reality of elections is that there are winners and losers. Therefore, many people on one side or the other will be greatly disappointed.  

We are frequently bombarded with negativity when we tune into the news on television, radio, or in print. Often it seems the news media tends to focus more of what divides us than unites us. This exposure to negativity works against our well-being. One option could be to consider limiting your exposure.

At Michigan Medicine, we are united by our common Mission, Vision and Core Values. Our Mission is “Toadvance health to serve Michigan and the world.” This is a very inclusive statement, because the world includes everyone. In addition, our first core value is Caring: “I will treat everyone with dignity, kindness and respect, promoting the well-being of self and others.” Here we are clearly saying that our individual and workplace well-being depends on how well we treat one another. Only by being well and working well can we optimally care for our patients and each other.

The Wellness Office is committed to making our workplace safe to speak up for safety for our patients, ourselves, and each other.  Many of our High Reliability Skills  focus on this as well. We strive to work in a safe environment where all voices can be heard. Our voices will be heard when we have inclusive conversations rather than divisive arguments. We will know we are using our best voices when what we say to each other is true, kind, and helpful. Let’s use our voices well to support one another during these trying times, including the election and beyond.

 There are many resources available to you through our https://wellnessoffice.med.umich.edu/covid-19-well-being-help-center  which can help you during this election, and throughout the pandemic.  Please feel comfortable in reaching out to our team if needed.

Do you have suggestions for how to manage during these stressful times? Share them below in the discussion box.

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