November 11, 2016
4 Ways to Practice Self Care
With absolutely zero sense of hyperbole, the election this week gutted me. I was not prepared for this, and I've had a hard time rationalizing what happened. The morning after the election, I started a private Facebook group where my friends and I could grieve together and eventually talk about what comes next. The page has since jumped the shark, but while it was still being used as intended, it was a great source of community and healing for me, and hopefully for the majority of the almost 1,400 people who ended up being on it.
Like many of us, this election, and particularly the last few months of it, sent me back into regular therapy. One thing my therapist has been helping me with is meaning. One day, I rapid-fired all the words that popped into my head:
And then I went down the list and answered these questions:
1) Not a threat to me because ____
2) What is my meaning that comes from ____
3) I am not a child, so ____.
The idea is joy + meaning = contentedness. I started doing one thing a day that brings me joy. And I read Man's Search For Meaning by Viktor E. Frankl. I felt under attack, like other drivers were trying to run me off the road and people we goading me online. When I started to look for meaning and doing one joyful thing a day, plus reading that book (my god, you guys, read that book), I felt better.
I looked at these perceived attacks as an invitation - an actual, literal, paper invitation that you get in the mail. And I declined those invitations. I said no to people's invitation to their (fill in the blank) party, e.g. rage, insecurity, racism, lies, etc. When someone said something inflammatory online, I visualized them walking up to me and handing me an invitation. And then I visualized myself saying no and walking away.
So now here we are, with a President-Elect that many of us didn't support, and many of us are threatened and triggered by. There will be a time for organizing and action, but I'm still grieving. Here are some things that have helped me this week.
4 Ways to Practice Self Care
A lot of comedians are being very poignant right now, with just the right amount of funny. It helps.
Stephen Colbert night-of
Stephen Colbert night after
Call Your Girlfriend, Episode 68, Rage Phase
Put Your Hands Together, election night episode
Just cry. Cry for no reason, cry for all the reasons, cry any time, cry anywhere. Watch old episodes of Sex and the City and cry about a simpler time. Might I recommend the episode in Season 4 when Miranda's mom dies and Carrie jumps in during the funeral procession and grabs Miranda's hand?
3) Face Mask and Chill
Last night, I ordered a pizza, opened a box of wine, put a bendy straw in my glass and then kicked back on the couch with a sheet mask on my face. Ladies, you're going to need moisture after all that crying. Hydrate! This is my favorite sheet mask. It's $7 at Sephora, but there's all these $1 sheet masks at Walgreens, too. I got you, ladies on a budget.
4) OG Communication
I'm talking phone calls and showing up at people's houses. I would rather get my teeth cleaned than talk on the phone, but a friend called me last night after her husband and kids went to bed and we talked for an hour and a half. Call your people! I also had a friend take her fury out via baked goods and casseroles and then she invited all angry, hungry people to come over and eat in fellowship.
Ladies, a handful of men I'm not mad at, friends:
This has been a hard week. You're allowed a grieving period. And you're allowed to still be in it. Take the weekend. Buy a sheet mask. Buy a box of wine, don't forget the bendy straws! And let yourself grieve. But soon, maybe Monday, maybe a week from now, we've got work to do.
P.S. I wrote about what it's like to be a woman in politics.
P.P.S. Did this election trigger your body shame? This may help.