I didn’t vote for Donald Trump and I’m scared. I feel vulnerable and shaky … and really uncertain what the future brings. Some days I can barely work because I’m so distracted and worried.
And yet … this is the chaos that often happens before a very big shift in the public consciousness. It’s the breakdown before the breakthrough. But in the meanwhile …
Here are some things we can do to stay calm and be more effective as the chaos unfolds.
We owe it to ourselves and … really, at this point, we owe it to the world at large.
- First, go on a news diet. Pull away from the steady, alarming, adrenaline pumping news. Put down the Times app. Turn off the TV. Remember much of the media is on repetitive 12 hour cycles, so once you’ve got the basic news for the day, you can turn away. The world will still go on. Your central nervous system will thank you for it.
- Show up and protest. Don’t march because it will necessarily make a Washington sit up and take notice (though reports are that Congress has begun to pay attention.) Do it because it will give you a feeling of control.Actively protesting makes you feel remarkably better. You stop feeling so alone, and you get inspired. Put on your pink hat and march, loudly and often.
- Feel your grief and fear. Have you had a good cry yet? Listen … you deserve it. We all do. Let yourself cry and an amazing wave of relief and peace will follow. If Chuck Schumer can do it, so can you.
- Remember that every four years there is an election in the US. The current state of duress many of us feel is only going to last so long. Trump can be voted out just like he got voted in. In the end this is a democracy in the US … and so far, it’s been working for more than 240 years.
- Think of this as the division before the healing. Nothing brings people together like chaos and stress. Remember the aftermath of 9-11. And take note of the fact that Democrats and Republicans have, together, been doing clean up on Trump’s missteps with foreign leaders. That, alone, is a small miracle. The more our internal conflicts escalate, the more opportunity there is for us to come together.
- Meditate … and do a little yoga, too. 5000 years of global practice say they work. Even scientists agree the combo reduces worry, doubt, and increases overall happiness. Consider this an excellent time to begin … even five minutes a day of sitting quietly with eyes closed will help.
- Give money to causes directly affected by new policies. Citizen action has proven at times to be more effective than government policy. Give to Planned Parenthood, the Southern Poverty Law Center, The Sierra Club, and other conservation organizations. Join the more than 335,300 people who joined the ACLU in the last week – and donated more than 24 million dollars. Even making a small contribution per month will increase your sense of well-being.
- Sign online petitions and letters. SumOfUs.org, MoveOn.org, The Daily Kos and others make it one-click simple to lodge a protest with your elected officials. Getting on the email lists of these organizations will put almost daily petitions into your inbox that you can sign with a simple click. Calling Congress has been proven to be even more effective – and so you will feel that much better after you do. Simply dial 202-224-3121. Here are some handy instructions.
- Sleep with a bear. Call it primal … but a teddy bear makes you feel ever so much better. It really will.
Don’t worry, keep breathing. Not only are will the US get through this … we’re going to be a more respectful, awake, conscious country. One that ultimately will prove worthy of respect.
Feel free to add ideas of your own below. After all, we’re all in this together!