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Ways to Cope with Pre-Election Stress

Brian is a member of The Motley Fool Blog Network -- entries represent the personal opinion of the blogger and are not formally edited.

In the United States, the Presidential election never seems to end. Right after the ballots are counted, or in some cases not counted, the whole thing starts all over again with new faces declaring their candidacy and begging us to send them campaign donations. It can be hard to stomach all the nastiness of the election cycle. Not only do we have acrimonious exchanges between the candidates, but now between the news organizations as well. Around this time, voters seek relief -- something to take our mind off politics or at least help us cope with all the stress of a national election.

Join a New Party

We all complain about the defects of the rigid two-party system in our country, but most of us never have the courage to join a third party. You get the feeling you’re throwing your vote away. You don’t see any benefit from joining a third party. Pizza Hut, Inc., a subsidiary of Yum! Brands, Inc. (NYSE: YUM) has decided to change the perception of third parties by starting one of their own, The Pizza Party. Everyone who enrolls in the party at the company website receives a free order of stuffed pizza rollers. Through election night, November 6, more freebies will be offered. The Pizza Party’s “candidate” is The Big Dinner Box, which includes two pan pizzas, breadsticks, and a side dish for just $19.99. The company views this as a “stimulus package” according to Pizza Hut CMO Kurt Kane, because consumers save $6 versus purchasing these items separately.

What exactly is a corporate CMO, you ask? I guess in this case it would be Chief Mozzarella Officer.

Yes, The Pizza Party has a lot to offer, although being on a low sodium diet, I don’t believe I will join. Of course, being on a low socialism diet has prevented my active participation in one of the two major parties.  

Increase Your Net Worth by $350K

Homebuilder Pulte Homes, a national brand of PulteGroup (NYSE: PHM), and Zillow, a leading provider of real estate information have teamed up for a second annual “I Want a New Home” Sweepstakes. The lucky winner will have a choice of a $350,000 credit toward purchasing a Pulte home or taking the $350,000 prize in cash. Entrants can earn an additional entry simply by visiting one of Pulte’s sales offices. The sweepstakes runs throughout October.

This seems to be the ideal way to chase away those Election Blues. Add a swift $350,000 to your net worth and you don’t really have to care who wins.

Go Shopping!

Americans know that when the going gets tough, the tough go…shopping. Consumption is one of our most time-tested coping mechanisms. Maybe you’re a little short of cash, or your credit isn’t perfect. Don’t worry, you’re an American. You have an inalienable right to buy stuff and haul it home. Aaron’s (NYSE: AAN) has helped accommodate more than 1.6 million customers by offering consumer electronics, furniture, and appliances on a lease-to-own basis, with no credit checks. This retail concept’s popularity is obvious from its growth -- 345 stores have been added in just the last three years, and Aaron’s opened its 2,000th store in September, in Bronx, New York. Bringing home something new -- a sofa, a big-screen TV -- can definitely cheer you up and take your mind off the election. Just make sure you don’t get mad on Election Night and toss a brick at that brand new TV. At first you’re just renting it, remember.

Two decades ago, the very first piece of furniture I acquired was a sturdy, tall oak bookcase from Aaron’s. The piece has held up extremely well over all those years, much better than my stock portfolio has, for example.

Get a Better Night’s Sleep

Worrying about the election outcome can definitely keep you awake at night. You get this terrible feeling of helplessness. One remedy to consider is having a nice cup of Celestial Seasonings® Sleepytime® Tea right before bed. The Hain Celestial Group (NASDAQ: HAIN), owners of this venerable brand, is celebrating its 40th anniversary with a “Sing Your Way to Sleepytime” lullaby video contest. Consumers can enter by uploading their favorite lullaby to www.SleepytimeLullaby.com. The winning entry will be awarded a $5,000 Pottery Barn® gift card to be used for a bedroom transformation. This prize was chosen because the winner might wonder what to do if $5,000 worth of tea were delivered to her home.

This company markets more than 70 varieties of teas and ready-to-drink beverages as well. I’ve tried the calming Sleepytime tea and it does help you relax and get to sleep. But sadly it doesn’t prevent nightmares. My recurring nightmare these days is that the 2012 Election will be over and no matter who wins, nothing really changes.  

November 6 is Coming Up Fast

So it’s time to implement one or more of these measures so you can survive Election Night with your optimism -- and your sanity -- intact. Feast on a yummy Pizza Hut pizza, not on sour grapes when your guy loses. Enter the Pulte/Zillow sweepstakes and go to sleep that night dreaming about a dream home. Head out to Aaron’s and look over those nifty consumer electronics you aren’t sure have any practical use but you desperately want anyway. And of course, brew some Sleepytime tea to enjoy after your compose a somewhat rude lullaby for the opposition party. 

PhoenixBrian has no positions in the stocks mentioned above. The Motley Fool owns shares of The Hain Celestial Group. Motley Fool newsletter services recommend The Hain Celestial Group. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days. We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.If you have questions about this post or the Fool’s blog network, click here for information.

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