“Just this morning I had a guy come in who is so distracted by the news that he can’t get his work done,” said Jonathan Alpert, a New York psychologist. “The levels of anxiety and stress I’m seeing are profound.”
Those heightened stress levels are reflected in Americans’ chosen leisure activities. Megan, a web developer in Nashville, has started re-watching “Parks and Recreation” because it’s about goofy, goodhearted people in politics. Jessica, a landscape architect in Boston, tunes out the news with obscure documentaries about the history of toys and cars. Dan, an editor in New York, now watches home renovation shows instead of the news while on the treadmill at the gym. And Rachel, a system designer in Massachusetts, loves “Aerial America” on the Smithsonian Channel.
“Basically, a drone just flies over and tells you cool things about pretty landscapes,” she says. “It’s way more relaxing than reading about Melania’s terrible jacket choice.”