A Practical Guide to Surviving Trump
Previously, I wrote about the emotional trauma we are experiencing since the election of Donald Trump. I believe we are deliberately being traumatized. We are being governed by people who actively want to harm us. And it’s been working!
But with knowledge comes power. When we acknowledge what is happening to us, we become much better prepared to confront and overcome it. These past six months have reaffirmed my belief that humanity is filled with great goodness, capable of incredible acts of kindness.
Unfortunately, there are those who would take advantage of our nature. We may not have always realized they were doing it, but we do now. I believe we must minimize the stress and find ways to cope so we can neutralize the unique threat we are daily presented with.
If we can find a way to do so, I believe we can raise our spirits and resist the destructive @GOP agenda with a new fierceness. That’s what this thread is for. I won’t discuss ways to resist. Instead, I want to share ways to cope and endure. Both are necessary to succeed.
Many people contributed to its creation, either directly or inspirationally. I want to thank all of them. I wish I had all of their names to share, but please know how grateful I am and that I’m confident you’ve helped make a difference.
To start, know there’s no shame in asking for help. Please seek out professionals if you find it difficult to cope with this alone. You’re also welcome to reach out to me at anytime, by tweet or DM. And I am sure many others feel the same way. We’re here for everyone.
So here we go.
The first thing I want to suggest is disengaging. I believe the constant toxicity is really harmful to us. As hard as it may be, we must allow ourselves some time to limit our exposure to Donald Trump. We all can benefit from doing so.
We can accomplish this by limiting social media when we find ourselves getting frustrated or overwhelmed. Step away occasionally. If you feel the need to withdraw for a time, do so. But please try to force yourself to engage in something fun or rewarding too.
In the same light, I don’t see anything wrong with escapism either. There are many activities that will help take our minds off things.
Take up a new hobby. Try your hand at drawing or painting. Or buy some crayons and a coloring book. Try to reach that kid inside of you. Perhaps you’ll find some peace in putting puzzles together. Or find an uplifting tvshow that will engage your mind for a time.
It doesn’t really matter what it is. Whatever helps you to experience a sense of escape, allow yourself permission to engage it fully.
I find great enjoyment in reading books. The same goes for movies and television. There’s lots of uplifting content that you can lose yourself in, if just for a time. One of the things that helps me the most are watching my favorite standup comics: Wanda Sykes, Lewis Black, Hasan Minhaj. Laugh more!
Another great way to spend your time is watching videos from
@TEDx and @TEDTalks. Their library is extensive and insightful. And don’t forget about music. Put some headphones on and listen to anything that lifts your spirits. Music is so healing.
Escapism isn’t enough. We also need meaningful connection. And this comes in a variety of different forms, not only from people.
For me, hiking is an exceptional experience. When I’m in a forest, underneath a canopy of trees, I feel pure bliss, renewal. There is no greater feeling for me than the connection I feel to nature. I love hiking and camping. Others like beaches or local parks.
Our connection to others is quite important too. If you don’t know your neighbors, go say hello. They may need it as much as you do. You may even consider starting a local book club, or some other activity. And maybe work toward rebuilding a sense of community. We’ve lost that in America. And we desperately need to regain it. Now is an excellent time to reach out and connect with the locals.
And don’t forget about old friends. If it’s been a while, reach out to them. Give them a call. Write them a handwritten letter.
You can also extend connection to complete strangers. There’s great truth in the saying that helping others is good for your own soul. There’s a local vet I sometimes see panhandling in my small town. I’ll take him out to lunch and spend a few hours just talking to him. Just yesterday, I encountered a woman at a grocery story whose card wasn’t working, so I paid for her groceries. Pay it forward.
While I’m sure those individuals appreciate those acts, I promise you I get way more out of it than them. It feels good to help others! Make a point to go out of your way to be helpful to anyone who has been marginalized in our society. Help them feel safe and welcome.
Spend time volunteering at a soup kitchen, or visiting sick children at a hospital, or even the pets at a local shelter! Donate to Goodwill, to churches and synagogues and mosques. Send them an encouraging postcard. Introduce yourself. Spend time with them.
Donate blood whenever you can. Consider becoming a live kidney or liver donor. Help a complete stranger to live! Adopt a pet who really needs a home. Don’t get the kitten or puppy. Get the older pet who was abandoned and still has love to offer you!
There’s so many ways to make a difference. But don’t forget about yourself too. It’s important to take care of your own needs also. Make a vegetable garden. Spend some time putting your hands in the soil, watching things grow. Plant a tree! Plant many trees!
Get an aquarium. It can be so peaceful to just stare into their little world. I’m partial to Bettas, but go see what’s out there!
Make sure to exercise. Consider getting a gym membership. Ask your neighbor to join you! Take up Yoga, meditation, breathing… Keep a journal. Write strictly stream of consciousness in it. Get those feelings out of your head and onto paper. It really helps!
Give yourself permission to cry. Give yourself permission to be sad, or happy, or anything in-between! Just be. Just let yourself be. Consider taking up a self-help project. If there’s a behavior you want to change, why not give it a try? Just don’t beat yourself up.
And finally, get enough sleep. If you’re struggling with this, I have some tips that may help.