It's OK if you don't watch the presidential debate. Here are other things you can do

Kelly Lawler, USA TODAY
·3 min read
Preparations are underway in Nashville for the next presidential debate.
Preparations are underway in Nashville for the next presidential debate.

During and after Thursday's final presidential debate between President Donald Trump and former Vice President Joe Biden, it might seem impossible to escape the political news. It may also seem like you shouldn't try. But it's OK if you need to tune out.

While there are reasons to watch the debate – to keep up with the news or potentially learn more about the candidates – there are also plenty of reasons to tune out. Maybe you already have decided who will get your vote. Maybe you were turned off by the first debate or found it triggering (you wouldn’t be alone). Maybe you are just too tired.

The loud, combative September 29 debate was "pretty universally experienced as traumatizing," according to Sherry Hamby, a University of the South psychology professor and founding editor of the American Psychological Association journal Psychology of Violence. "I know several people who couldn't even get through the whole thing."

If you aren't watching the debate, there are plenty of things you can do. Here are some options.

If the election, the pandemic and all the tragedy of 2020 has been hard for you mentally, we have some resources to help you cope. Here are some tips for meditation. We even spoke to some astronauts about how they handle anxiety and isolation.

2020 has been so hard. We have a newsletter dedicated to helping you cope with the pandemic and other stressors in your life. It always has a cute pet picture. You can sign up here.

Also, remember that you can log off Twitter and Facebook and Instagram if that’s better for your mental health.

Coronavirus, news of racism, it can all take a toll on our mental health.
Coronavirus, news of racism, it can all take a toll on our mental health.

"I advise my patients to set a limit on their time reading the news and scrolling through social media," says Dr. Linda Anegawa, a primary care physician with virtual health platform PlushCare in Honolulu, Hawaii. "These activities can become not only a time suck, but it can drain your emotional energy. I usually recommend limiting consumption of the media to 30 minutes in the morning and at night."

"There is a fine line between being an informed citizen and making yourself crazy."

Contributing: Alia Dagastir

This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Trump/Biden Debate: It's OK if you don't watch