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Averyt: Stress Relief


There's a lot of talk these days about closings and stress - buzz words that swirl around the two top news stories - the elections and the World Series. Stress and closings - I think the concepts are closely related. And so are the news stories. In the baseball world, the closer is called upon to wrap up success. To take the rubber in the 9th inning and shut down the last three chances of the opposition to tie or win the game. There's a lot riding on the shoulders - and the arm - of the closer.

In the political realm, it's about finally closing down this election season. Bringing to an end the knockdown, drag out battle that has generated a new phenomenon and new nomenclature - election stress.

In August, the American Psychological Association added a question about the election to its annual "Stress in America" survey. The results showed more than half of adults in the U.S. are stressed by the election - and it doesn't matter what your party affiliation is. No one is lukewarm this time around. According to the survey, one in four Americans find their stress elevated and their productivity diminished at work because of acrimonious political discussions.

This year's election is causing as much anxiety as such major life stressors as money and employment. According to the Washington Post, therapists say their clients are talking about the stress of the political debate,  and one psychologist has even given it an official name, Election Stress Disorder.

It seems we’re in desperate need of an antidote - something we can cheer about and talk with our children about; a little civility and good feeling; something to believe in again.

Thank goodness for this year's World Series - a match-up for the ages that’s captured the national imagination; an epic showdown between two teams that haven't won the pennant since the first half of the last century. The Chicago Cubs versus the Cleveland Indians offers a chance to cheer for the underdogs and enjoy the rivalry between two very likeable teams.

Baseball has always been my favorite metaphor for hope and cock-eyed optimism. In its own magical way, maybe this World Series can spirit us away from the rancor of the election and drop us down into a field of dreams. It may be "as corny as Kansas in August", but I don't think it gets much better than this.

Free lance writer, Anne Averyt, lives in South Burlington, with her cat Sam and as many flowers as possible.
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