Sleepless nights and gut-tightening anxiety are a natural consequence of any totalitarian government. But you don’t have to let your entire life unravel over the course of the next four years — and you shouldn’t. There are self-care steps you can take to keep up your strength so you can meet the challenges of confronting a rogue president with grace.
But beware, self-care is not synonymous with self-indulgence. While a Big Gulp-sized glass of wine may sound like sweet relief, it’s a bad long term strategy. We can’t afford to run from our problems right now. We need energy and determination.
Good self-care makes you stronger, not weaker and more vulnerable. So put down the cronut and try these things instead:
- Get some sleep. Even the Dalai Lama says that sleep is critical to keeping a calm mind and famously said, “Sleep is the best meditation.”
- Eat real food. Junk food makes us moody and ineffective. How much of our current problems can be attributed to the poor nutritional choices of the president and his staff?
- Get some exercise. Moving your body is magic. You don’t want to do it, but once you get started, every cell thanks you.
- Drink plenty of water. Duh.
- Take vitamin D. Especially in these dark days of winter, it may keep you from wanting to throw yourself in front of a speeding motorcade.
- Find a way to relax. Meditation and yoga have been used for thousands of years for a reason. They work. Of particular use right now is a practice called Tonglen.
- Go outside. There’s no restorative quite like being in nature.
Don’t let a man-sized toddler destroy your peace of mind. Rather, use his behavior as an impetus to take good care of yourself, so you can jump in and make a difference.
It’s going to take strength to step outside our comfort zones and learn about the experiences of our fellow Americans that many of us have ignored because of our own relative comfort. It’s going to take courage to stand up and defend our rights and protect our most vulnerable citizens. Self-care can help get you there.