I keep seeing wonderful posts about “How to Stay Sane and Healthy in the Midst of Intense Political Trials.”
When I read them, I think, “Oh, how helpful! Thank you for reminding me not to sprint this marathon! I will do the things you say to do to stay well.”
And then I read another political post, get upset, and fret over calling my representatives (and the representatives of other states).
I still have some work to do with this whole self-care thing.
Other days, I do alright, though.
Some things I do to lighten the mental, emotional, and physical stress include the following:
Kettle bell swings. These are excellent because I get to toss a large, metal bell (with either a chimp or orangutan face, because my husband-to-be loves Onnit and monkey faces), which requires a lot of force, which means I get to hurl out a lot of pent up anger, frustration, and stress.
Watching political-but-funny TV. My favorites are Parks and Rec and The Daily Show with Trevor Noah. Parks and Rec is government so light and happy it might as well be run by golden retrievers (Knope for 2020!), and Trevor Noah rehashes current events with a sarcastic and prophetic edge (Noah for VP 2020!).
Reading. Lots and lots of empowering reading, like Maya Angelou, Glennon Doyle Melton, and J.K. Rowling. Reading and re-reading their stories has been beyond healing and inspiring.
Letting my fiance hold me. A nice rush from pheromones and the knowledge that the love of my life is by my side, even as the world is going to hell, is quite helpful.
Yes, we often hold each other like this. And yes, it is comforting. We’re odd people like that.
Wedding planning. It’s oddly therapeutic, and especially exciting now that I have a wedding dress! Although I’m sad said dress is at my mom’s house because I can’t just sit in a closet and stare at it whenever I want.
Singing in the church choir. Focusing on a lot of ranges as a musically-inept person is in and of itself a welcome distraction, and, as my choir director says, “Those who sing pray twice.” (Pretty sure she stole that quote from someone, but that’s OK.)
Teaching youth Sunday School. My students are some of the most passionate and woke teenagers I’ve ever had the pleasure of meeting, so getting some Lectio Divina in together after talking about national affairs is extra inspiring!
Writing. Whether it’s political, spiritual, nerdy, entirely personal, or a mix of all, writing is fantastic therapy, and it’s free! I get my thoughts out, see through their jumble and tangles, and feel my burdens fall to the page and leave a bit lighter than before.
And therapy itself. This kind costs money, but it’s money VERY well spent, since I can bemoan my political situation to a like-minded spirit while also receiving self-help tips to manage my anxiety in the midst of crisis.
These are ways I’m coping with political and personal stress. What are some of your methods? Please share in the comments below! We’re all in this together, so let’s help each other through!