Keeping your Sanity Intact

If the 2016 election cycle is any indication, the next four years are going to be extremely interesting. Folks, we’ve elected a man who tweets and says outrageous things for the whole world to see.

So far, Trump has made fun of a disabled reporter, attacked a Gold Star family, unleashed his followers on reporters he doesn’t like, and caused the stock prices of at least two corporations (Lockheed Martin and Boeing) to plummet with simple disparaging tweets. And that doesn’t even begin to scratch the surface.

Suffice it to say, the next four years are going to be a constant churn of outrageous statements, lies, and childish outbursts from our new POTUS.

You’re gonna need to find balance – yes, you need to pay attention to what’s happening, but you also need to take care of yourself. If you’re constantly outraged by what Trump has to say (which isn’t hard as he’s got an unbelievable supply of crazy statements ready to go!) then you’ll just burn yourself out.

So, how do you take care of yourself?

  1. Cut the media cord. It’s okay to take several days, weeks, or even a month off. You don’t even need to disconnect from everything – years ago I cancelled cable and have been all the better for not having access to CNN, MSNBC, and other pundit platforms. And you should totally include taking a break from Twitter, Facebook, and other online venues too!
  2. Focus on something creative. Do you paint, sing, act, play guitar, write poetry, knit, or even cook? Start spending time every day (or several times a week) expressing yourself creatively. It’s a great way to focus your mind on something you can control and that doesn’t involve the world around you.
  3. Get outside. Go for a run. Take walks in the park. Garden. Go camping or hiking. Nature and the outdoors can be very healing. Even if you don’t consider yourself an outdoorsy type of person, give it a try – there’s bound to be a local park you can take your dog to.
  4. Learn a new skill. This is your chance to add something amazing to your repertoire. Take that cooking class, learn how to SCUBA dive, attain that next belt in your martial arts class! Nothing will give you a sense of control more than being able to focus on a new thing and getting good at it.
  5. Volunteer. There are tons of organizations who could use your talents and skills right now, ranging from those in the midst of the fight against Trump (ACLU, Freedom from Religion Foundation) to those who always welcome a helping hand (homeless shelters, food kitchens, interfaith groups, Habitat for Humanity).
  6. Read! There’s nothing like escaping into a good book. A great book to read right now? Mindfulness for Beginners – it’ll teach you new ways to think about yourself, your mind, your reactions to the world.
  7. Get out with friends. Here’s a thing to try: go out to dinner and drinks with friends, and don’t discuss politics, current events, or how the world seems to be on fire. Laugh, catch up on everyone’s lives, and plan the next outing.

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