The current political landscape often plunges me into perpetual state of emotional reactivity, angst and low level depression. I frequently feel helpless and despondent after reading the news or social media posts about the latest atrocity committed against people of color, immigrants, our environment, and animals by forces that seem both uncontrollable and undeterred by common decency or regard for life.
I was looking for guidance (for myself) today about how to cope and didn’t find very much. So I wanted to offer some of my coping skills for keeping sane while existing in the current state of America. It’s brief and general, but I hope it it might be of service.
1. Take action. The best way I know to make myself feel less helpless is to take action. Donate to or volunteer for organizations dedicated to the cause you’re interested in helping. Contact your government representatives. VOTE. We can only affect change when we make our voices heard. Other ways to help? Step in when you see a POC or immigrant being harassed in the grocery store on the street or public transport. Talk to them. Offer assistance. If you are white, don’t accept racist behavior in your white family or friends. Educate them, challenge the status quo. It’s up to people who have privilege to use it to help those that don’t.
2. Take a break from social media. While responding to the latest outrage might feel good, it’s only momentarily soul-satisfying; and doesn’t really accomplish much in the long run. Trump is probably going to say or do something every day that will cause a negative emotional response for many of us. We can’t allow ourselves to get stuck in a perpetual state of stress and emotional arousal and still function well in our lives.
3. Instead – get grounded. Become present. Feel all the feelings that come up and allow them to pass, but find a safe space that supports you in doing so. Time with friends and loved ones, cuddling pets, yoga, meditation, gardening and playing sports are helpful.
4. Watch something uplifting or funny. Laughter has the power to heal, comfort us and bring us back into our bodies and the present. Bonus points if it’s Seth Meyers sending up the political landscape the way only he can.
5. Focus on making your corner of the world what you want it to be. So much of what’s happening in the political landscape is a result of a lack of understanding and compassion. We pass neighbors and don’t interact. We get angry in traffic and flip that jerk the bird… etcetera, etcetera. When we fill the spaces we occupy with love, it has lasting and profound effects. Being connected to your immediate community is a great way to fight otherness.
6. Visualize the world you WANT to live in, instead of just focusing on how messed up it all is right now. Negative thoughts rob us of the wonderful things currently surrounding us. They take over and spill like ink into our thoughts. Focus on the good. Spend time consciously directing your thoughts in positive, or solution oriented ways. Abraham-Hicks says that 17 seconds of pure thought is the ignition point of manifesting. If you hold a thought for 17 seconds, you set in motion that manifestation. The purpose behind this rule is to get you to think purely for 17 seconds, and to have that desire become stronger until it reaches 68 seconds. So, instead of just ruminating in the energy of how terrible the current presidential administration is, let’s start using our collective consciousness to visualize a much better future. If we all join together we can create change.
Please share the ways you pull yourself up out of the muck when the current state of things gets you down. I’m sending you love. We’re all in this together.