If you’ve been feeling waves of anxiety, fear, stress, or depression because of the political climate today, you are not alone. We may be experiencing collective trauma, defined as a shared experience of anxiety in response to sudden or ongoing events that threaten our basic sense of belonging in society.
So what now? Amidst so much uncertainty, how we will move forward? What can I do? I mean, is this really happening?
While social media has become an incredible resource for many to unify, articulate and express within community, there have also been many accounts shared of racism, hate crimes, verbal and physical assault throughout the country since the President Elect was announced.
While it is absolutely vital that each of us stay connected to our emotional body, we also have to find effective ways to engage democracy that is pro-active and prioritize our mental, physical, and spiritual health. If we are not connected to a source that nourishes us, what do we have to offer?
Here are a few thoughts on ways to stay connected and restore a sense of hope.
1) STRENGTHEN FAMILY & COMMUNITY
Anxiety thrives through isolation. If you can stay connected to people, community, and family – this can relieve the stress of thinking and being lost in ‘what if’s’. Stay connected to your community. There is strength in numbers.
2) START A MEDITATION PRACTICE
Headspace and Dharmaocean have wonderful guided meditation practices and tips to working with a busy mind. Learning how to breathe and be still is the anecdote to healing so many wounds.
3) SUPPORT ORGANIZATIONS DOING WORK YOU BELIEVE IN
If you believe in the rights of reproductive healthcare for men and women, consider a donation to Planned Parenthood.
If you want to support organizations advancing the protection of the planet, donate to Natural Resources Defense Council.
If you believe the work for human rights, consider a monthly donation to American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU).
4) LIMIT YOUR SOCIAL MEDIA
Take a break and limit your social activity sot that you can regenerate with space. Choose when / how often you want to be on social media and try to resist impromptu surfing.
5) PRIORITIZE SELF CARE
Schedule a massage in the middle of the week just after work. Take a yoga class. Go for a hike. Draw a bath. Up your water intake. Tune into the needs of your body and give yourself what will nourish.
6) GET EIGHT HUGS A DAY
We need to be touched, held, and hugged. Hugging someone builds a sense of safety, eases loneliness, strengthens immunity, and more. Don't wait to be hugged. Be the hugger. Start passing them out like hot cakes. ANd if you can't get all eight in on a day, then go for a long hug -- at least 20 seconds to get the full somatic experience. And please let us know how it felt or what you discovered in the process.
Do you have other thoughts or ideas about ways to stay grounded post election? Please share your thoughts below.