Whether we like it or not, tomorrow Donald J. Trump will become the 45th President of the United States of America. Deep Breath.
Over these past couple of months since the election, I’ve been grappling with the hopelessness I feel over him becoming President. And I know I’m not alone. Forget about the fact that more than half the country didn’t vote for him. There are reports that people who have suffered a traumatic event in their past are especially triggered. And I’ve had a lot of time to think about it, because hopelessness tends to give way to anxiety and insomnia. This is apparently another trend I’m not alone in.
While the situation seems dire to a lot of us, I also refuse to merely shrug and say “It is what it is,” or “There’s nothing we can do,” because there is. It might be small. It might not seem like it’s going to leave a lasting impact, but every big movement starts with a small step, right?
Here’s how I’m coping with Trump’s presidency:
Now more than ever (especially with all the “fake news” floating around), it’s important to stay informed on what’s happening. I’ve never been a news junkie, but every morning and car ride home, I make sure I’m tuned into NPR to hear the latest headlines. While I’m grateful to have so many like-minded friends and media-outlets, it’s also important to hear what “the other side” has to say. I would be elated if the left and right found a way to work together. Unfortunately, everything Trump and the Republicans have done over the past couple of months since the election (ahem taking steps to repeal ACA without a replacement, his cabinet picks, countless other things) hasn’t eased my fears. But, we can’t shut our eyes to what’s happening. The only way to stay abreast of it is to stay informed, and that means being aware of what’s going on. That being said…
Have a Social Media Blackout Day
Sure, you might miss someone’s birthday (I promise you can still send a belated birthday text), but this has been my saving grace. If you can’t go a whole day without checking Facebook or Twitter, at least limit your time. I deleted Facebook from my phone after the election. It was perhaps the smartest thing I could’ve done. We need to educate ourselves about the issues, but you don’t need to drown in it, either. Here’s a good balance to tow: when you feel your heart about to jump out of your chest and that overwhelming feeling to aggressively type to a stranger about how wrong they are come over you, take a break from the internet. Go for a walk. Focus on the positive. Keep calm and carry on. Say all your mantras at once. Whatever it takes. But, for the love of G-d, angrily retweeting or even worse, angrily engaging with trolls isn’t going to make things better. No siree.
Find an Issue to Get Behind
One of the “best” things about Trump as President is there’s so many issues that are being threatened that you can support (she says with the sarcasm practically dripping off the page!) But seriously: worried about the climate that Trump “isn’t sure” is actually being affected by global warning (or maybe he’s now not denying it… but you get the point)… there are many organizations you can volunteer with and donate to. Worried about Planned Parenthood getting defunded? Setup a monthly contribution (link here). By getting involved either physically or financially, you’ll be making an impact and that feeling of hopelessness won’t seem as present. Yay!
Get Involved in Community Events
Being surrounded by like-minded individuals who are going through the same trepidations and fears as you are is a great way to cope right now. That’s why things like the Women’s March or other events that put like-minded people in the same arena are wonderful (and men, you can get involved too! cough, cough.. wink wink). These types of events allow people to bond and and come up with new ideas together. They say two heads are better than one, can you imagine how impactful thousands and even millions of heads can be? And at the very least, you won’t feel so alone.
Use Your Superpower to Spread Awareness
Are you great at bringing people together? Consider throwing a fundraiser or an event for an issue you care about. Do you have a big social media following? Tweet about it. Are you crafty? Make shirts, pins, or those pink pussy hats. Everyone has something they’re good at and can use that ability to channel frustrations. Like, um… I don’t know… writing an essay about it. Find yours.