Last week everyone I know and I had a collective mental breakdown. At first no one could believe that Trump won the election. Then we couldn’t believe people we knew made it possible. We cried. We couldn’t sleep. We were literally sick. We overate. We overdrank. We overfucked. We overslept. We called our exes. We had mad make up sex. We got back together. We broke up. We called a different ex and repeated the cycle. Basically, we made every bad decision on the Very Bad Decisions book and then some.
Now, before we can start organizing and working on surviving the next four years, it’s time to get back to reality and fix ourselves.
These are some of my self-care tips:
– Stop analyzing. Was every single Trump voter sexist, LGBTphobic or a racist? Probably not. Did every single Trump voter decide that blatant misogyny, LGBTphobia and racism wasn’t a big deal? Yes, yes they did. Stop trying to understand why your relatives, friends and coworkers voted Trump because we’ll never know their reasons.
– Don’t waste time and energy explaining yourself (regardless of how many times they tell you you are overreacting) or trying to win them over. There is no worse blind person than the one who doesn’t want to see and, if they chose to ignore everything that came out pre-election (upcoming trials, misogynistic and racist remarks, etc.), well, you are not going to open their eyes. Go no contact if needed.
– Go technology free for a few hours or a few days to mute all the post-election madness. I avoid Facebook like the plague on weekends. I also try not to text/email those days (key word: “try”).
– Eat healthy. I don’t know about you all, but I eat like shit – especially when I’m stressed. I’ll only admit to being 40-50 pounds overweight and if, I don’t do something about it soon, next thing you know, I’ll have diabetes, a stroke, need a walker to move around and will end up on TLC’s “My 600-lb Life” lying to Dr. Nowzaradan about my eating habits. So I’m doing myself and my future husbutch a favor by going back on Atkins not as a phase, not as a quick fix, but as a lifelong commitment to eating healthy.
– Exercise: I used to think I needed a gym Daddy to kick my ass all the way back to the gym because I just didn’t have it in me to get up at the crack of dawn to go work out before going to work anymore. I had no problem power-walking alone (from my apartment in Harlem to any of the museums in 5th Ave, from my office to South Ferry, from my apartment to Chinatown…) but the gym was a complete different monster. Turns out all I needed was to go dress-shopping (as in: “oh my God, what the fuck happened to you darling?!!”). Back to the gym on Monday. All I need now is someone to help me find my fake iPod and the charger. Oh yes, exercise is good for the body and soul and all that shit. You already knew that.
– Own up to your own feelings and moods. If you are in a post-election funk, go out for a walk, hit the gym, write, dance, paint or sing… don’t blame your colleagues, friends, relatives or significant others for your own misery.
– If you can’t break out of your funk, make an appointment with a mental care professional. There is no shame in looking for help, nothing wrong with being on psych meds, and those around you will thank you.
– Take care of other pressing and non-pressing health issues. Better use your medical benefits while you have them. Go for that full physical, ophthalmologist, dentist or OB/GYN appointment you have been postponing.
– Take care of your finances: reduce your credit card debt, open a savings account, and look at your 401k options. Create a financial safety net or improve the one you already have… in case you need to bail someone out for peacefully protesting or pitch in to help someone cover their legal/medical expenses.
– Reassess your priorities and (re)learn not to give a shit. Like I said, don’t waste time and energy hanging around people who will probably give you a cardiac because they voted Trump and won’t shut up about it or simply because they are the run-of-the-mill toxic, clueless token assholes that makes your blood pressure rise each time you see them. It’s ok to put yourself first and say no when someone invited you over. Guess what? Your family will still eat their turkey if you decide to spend Thanksgiving with friends.
– Surround yourself with people who uplift you and bring on the happy.
– Have lots of sex to keep the endorphins and happy mojo going.
– If you are curious about anti-Trump activism, think about what you can do and how much you can take on. Don’t run yourself to the ground trying to save the world!