Wednesday, November 9, 2016

5 Things to Do for Yourself the Day After Traumatizing Election Results


Like so many Americans, I woke up this morning hoping it was all a dream - a nightmare, really. I slept restlessly, & I woke up with a jaw sore from clenching in stress. I've yet to eat today. Truly, the only way to explain it is that I feel consumed with grief, with trauma.

I posted this on Facebook earlier & thought it might be worth sharing here, as well, while so many of us are struggling. I've already heard from friends whose workplaces have brought in counselors to deal with the stress & fear of the future, & I find myself wishing I had similar access.

I made this short list of things to do for yourself today - things I'm doing for myself today - & I hope that it will, in some small way, help bring you any comfort. Today is so difficult - & the days to come will be worse, I suspect. But we are not alone.
  1. Turn off social media. Turn on music, soothing white noise, or a beloved favorite movie.
  2. Pet a cat. Or a dog. Or hold a baby. Basically, make contact with anything that is soft & physically comforting.
  3. Seek out wisdom & guidance from a rabbi or a pastor or an imam or a therapist or all of the above.
  4. Do something - anything - that brings you happiness, so long as it doesn't hurt anyone else. Eat your favorite food or light a scented candle or do yoga or take a nap or write out all your damn feelings.
  5. Above all: Be kind to yourself & to one another.
As scared as I am for our world, I am also terrified by all the language I've seen about suicide, about self-harm, about utter despondency. And as much as I understand - because truly, I do - I want you to know that however you are feeling today, tomorrow, & come January, you are not alone in it. If you need help, please seek it out, & if you see someone in need, please take their pain seriously. You can call the National Suicide Hotline at 1-800-273-8255 or the Trevor Project at 1-866-488-7386.

In this frightening & unpredictable time, please take care of yourselves & of each other. We are still, after all, stronger together.

I love you.

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