I won’t lie. The 2016 US presidential election has taken an emotional toll on me. As you know, I was an all-in Bernie supporter and delegate to the county and state conventions in Iowa. His loss was disappointing, especially considering the early dismissal by the media and the shenanigans of the Democratic National Committee. We had an opportunity to do something truly different in this country, and we blew it.
But my friends, it’s gotten worse. I’m not going to belabor the point that fills my Facebook feed and cable news, but the fact that Donald Trump is the Republican nominee and the fact that so many fellow Americans think that he’s fit to be our next president scares me. Truly.
When I watched the debate on Monday night, I couldn’t help but imagine what was going through Secretary Clinton’s head: This is my moment of glory as the first woman on such as stage, and I have to share it with this ignorant asshole?? I mean, I don’t know how she did it. Clinton’s ability to maintain her composure during that spectacle of a debate qualifies her for the presidency right there.
With all this going on, I’ve had to come up with some coping strategies to help me through this election. My hope is that they will help you in the thirty-seven days that remain until this is all over.
(If Trump wins, I’ll provide a much larger set of coping strategies.)
1. Log out of Facebook
Even though 99% of the posts I see are somehow making fun of Trump or convincing us why we need to do everything we can to make sure this man doesn’t become president, it’s still Trump’s face. Everywhere. All. The. Time.
Limit your Facebook time until after the election. You’ll get more done and have more time to play. And playing is good for you.
2. Avoid the News
I am pretty good at this. In fact, Todd thinks it’s a miracle when I actually know what’s going on in the world (for example, I knew about the split of Brangelina the day it was announced). But we do have CNN, and I swear every time we turn it on, either Trump is talking or people are talking about Trump.
I’m pretty sure I will scream if I hear another mention of Trump and Miss Universe.
3. Stop Talking About Trump
I’m getting all worked up here with all this talk about Trump. Even though it doesn’t seem like it right now, there are other topics to cover in conversation other than He Who Must Not Be Named. Let me give you some ideas:
- Bill Kibben’s most recent article on climate math. (It’s time to stop the digging and drilling.)
- The opening of the National Museum of African American History and Culture.
- An interesting book you just read. (I’m currently reading Viking Economics by George Lakey and Our Kids by Robert Putnam.)
- How we’re going to hold Hillary Clinton accountable once she’s in the Oval Office.
- Discuss the weather. Actually, don’t do that. Small talk isn’t good for you.
4. Spend Time in Nature
This is one of my go-to coping strategies for literally everything. In my experience, there is nothing as healing and refreshing as spending time in nature. I’ve had times when I’ve tromped into the woods either fuming about something at work or crying about something that hurt.
Every time, I’ve come out of the woods, if not smiling, at least composed, grounded, and ready to face the rest of the day. If you don’t like going by yourself, bring a friend and enjoy the togetherness.
5. Read a Good Novel
There is nothing like some good old-fashioned escapism to take your mind off of the trials and tribulations that is the 2016 presidential election. I’m a fan of Barbara Kingsolver, Stephen King, Fredrik Backman, George R. R. Martin, Lois Lowry, Charles Belfoure…
Or do what I do sometimes and pick a book from The New York Times Best Sellers list. Easy peasy.
6. Go to the Movies
Todd and I are very much enjoying the cushy, reclining seats at our local movie theater. Last night, we went to see Snowden. While it wasn’t the easiest movie to watch, it certainly got us talking about something other than… You know.
Movies and TV shows at home work too. We’re currently plowing through The Americans. It causes us to have spy dreams, but that’s okay.
7. Watch a Hillary Shimmy Video
If all else fails, watch one of the several Hillary Shimmy videos available for free on YouTube. This is my favorite:
I feel your pain, and I’m sure you feel mine. If you have other coping strategies, please share in the comments.
P.S. Yes, this is a little bit tongue-in-cheek, but I am 99% serious. This is by no means intended to make fun of coping strategies for maintaining positive mental health. We all need to cope with stressors in our lives. Right now, my primary stressor happens to be this election. I guess I’m lucky in that sense.
Her Lost Year
The holidays are just around the corner. Consider giving the gift of hope with Her Lost Year. Peace to you.