Counseling Center’s post-election event focused on worry and mindfulness

Counseling Center Director Peggy Crowe speaks at a post-election discussion.

Abbey Nutter

Before the announcement of Joe Biden as president-elect on Oct. 7, the WKU Counseling Center’s post-election conversations took place over Zoom on Oct. 5 and are contemplating the possibility of additional meetings for students and staff to reflect on the election of Joe Biden next week.

Present at the discussion were Counseling Center Director Peggy Crowe, Staff Counselor Katie Knackmuhs, Sexual Assault Services Soordinator Elizabeth Madariaga and Staff Phycologist Masami Matsuyuki.

All were worried about the potential of a continuation of the current administration’s time in office.

“I’m afraid for my colleagues, my dear friends that are LGBTQ and married and have children and we’re scared either way of how this is going to play out,” Crowe said.

Matsuyuki also voiced her views on the fear surrounding the election, saying that she’d made a trip to pick up a vacuum cleaner on election day and her husband came with her, afraid of her going alone in fear of her encountering something unruly or violent.

“Any emotion is energy and if we cannot discern what’s really going on in us, and then our actions may not be the most effective or rational or practical,” Matsuyuki said. “I’m so glad I’m doing this group and it’s so relevant right now – mindfulness as a psychological skill.”

Knackmuhs said that she’d discussed coping mechanisms for election anxiety with another group on Wednesday.

“An intern told our group yesterday to eat something that tastes good,” Knackmuhs said. “Do something you enjoy and drink something that’s soothing.”

Matsuyuki described these as “distress tolerance strategies.”

“By taking certain actions and intentionally doing something meaningful that will influence your emotions when you are afraid,” Matsuyuki said. “Do something that will counter the fear.”

Abbey Nutter can be reached at [email protected]. Follow her on Twitter @abbeynutter.