Dear Mr. President and Governor Romney,
Tonight, months if not years of campaigning will come to a head. We can only imagine that today is an extraordinarily trying day for both of you. Waiting for the votes to be tallied and the results to trickle in isn't easy for the general public; it can only be a bigger stressor to the candidates themselves.
As some 50 or so percent of eligible Americans cast their ballots today -- and plenty of others struggle to reach their polling sites or return their absentee ballots in time in the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy -- you face the anxiety-ridden culmination of your candidacy.
We're sure you can't concentrate on much of anything beside early predictions and voter-turnout calculations, but should you find yourself looking for a welcome distraction, we thought we'd offer you the following healthy suggestions:
Get in a workout. Take your BlackBerry, if you must. But a little exercise -- whether it's on the basketball court or the elliptical machine -- can zap stress and anxiety, even after you've stopped sweating.
Take a nap. It might not seem like the ideal time to check out, but here at Healthy Living, we're big proponents of napping at work. All you need is 30 minutes to have a more productive and focused second half of the day. And considering the job you're vying for, you'll probably want to sleep as much as possible while you still can.
Try not to stress eat. Research shows that when our bodies are under stress, we naturally crave rich, fatty, sugary, calorie-laden foods -- things that taste good in the moment but only bring fleeting relief and can add much longer-lasting inches and pounds. Instead, try "eating like athletes, for physical and mental strength," as a registered dietitian put it so well to Men's Health. That means a little less of this:
in favor of, perhaps, some fruit this afternoon, gentlemen?
Governor Romney, please don't overdo it on the Cherry Coke Zero. Even though it's calorie-free, diet sodas have been linked to weight gain, diabetes, stroke and heart attack, not to mention that those "natural flavors" on the ingredients label might come from places you'd never expect.
If you're going to drink, do so in moderation. Governor Romney, we know, as is prescribed by your faith, that you abstain from all alcohol use. President Obama, we've all read about the occasional beer summit and the hyped release of the White House's own brew (not to mention from your medical records), that you've been known to enjoy a drink from time to time. The Dietary Guidelines for Americans define "moderate" drinking as up to one drink per day for women and up to two for men. Sipping more than that in an effort to quell those "polls are closing" nerves puts you at risk for high blood pressure, liver damage, memory problems and more, according to the CDC.
Stay away from the cigarettes. President Obama, please don't go sneaking a cigarette today. We know you've been tobacco-free lately, however we also know that stress is one of the top reasons smokers cite when asked why it's so tough to kick the habit for good. Sorry, but we're definitely on the first lady's side on this one.
We could spend even longer suggesting healthy habits for you to turn to for relief today, like one of our favorite stress-busters, a massage, but we know you don't have much time. There are early prediction polls to attend to, after all.
Good luck and good health,
The HuffPost Healthy Living Team