The US 2016 presidential election results are in, and I can’t even say the name of the winner because he and his actions disgust me so much. He’s managed to insult and threaten every marginalized group, making many, many people absolutely terrified for their safety today. Today and for the next four years. Among those groups is disabled people, although a group of people being treated terribly should be something you care about even if you are not a part of that group of people.
So maybe you aren’t even severely mentally ill and poor like me, and you don’t have to worry about your benefits being cut, or your health services, housing, income, etc being taken away as a result. So you aren’t a Muslim woman having to refrain from wearing hijab for safety reasons. You in no way are negatively affected personally, maybe even those you love aren’t. You should still care, you should still feel empathy, because I like to think my readers aren’t, idk, fucking monsters. I don’t know. I’m so scared that so few people seem to feel empathy or care, that so many people are expressing such violent misogyny, and that that person and his running mate could ever possibly be in power, with a republican house and senate to back them up.
For the record, yes, I voted early, for Hillary Clinton.
I would love to direct those of you who will be affected, who are terrified and crying and angry and so many things (so many reactions are valid) to a suicide hotline list in case you need it, but while you should absolutely try if you think you need to, national hotlines have been busy since she lost and he won and we were handed four years of fear on a platter. You should still try but please don’t expect to necessarily get through to anyone right now. I’m so sorry, and I’m going to do my best to list other resources you can draw on after listing these currently unusable helplines:
Suicide Prevention Hotline: 1-800-273-8255
Sexual Assault Hotline: 1-800-656-4673
The Trevor Project (LGBT): 1-866-488-7386
Trans Lifeline: 1-877-565-8860
Crisis Text Line: Text START to 741-741
Okay. So maybe you don’t want to call a helpline, or maybe you tried one, or two, or three, and they were all busy. Okay. Deep Breaths. Here is a gif about breathing that might help with that:
Maybe you’re angry. I get that too. A personal favorite coping technique of mine when I have feelings of anger (usually directed inward in my case, although not this time for once) is to play a song that helps me get some of my emotion out and maybe even sing along, really loud.
For this presidency, I think that the Dixie Chicks’ Not Ready to Make Nice is pretty appropriate (or find something you like better, if that’s not your jam!)
So what have I got to recommend besides deep breathing, music and hotlines that may or may not work? WELL, ladies and gentlemen and non binary people also wearing formal wear for some reason, here’s a list! I may add to it over time:
- Got extra money burning a hole in your pocket/sitting around? Help out with the situation we’re in for a tangible feeling of having done something good. Of course, you can do this for free in many ways, by helping others, and volunteering, for example, but what I’m talking about is donating money to a charity that will probably really be needing it soon thanks to our future president – such as Planned Parenthood, NAMI, or Radical Monarchs. There are many more, and I hope to blog with a longer list included soon.
- Learn how to fold a paper crane.
- Spend time with your pet if you have one, cuddling or playing with it.
- Take a bath, keep sharp objects away if that’s an issue, and use some relaxing essential oils or a bath bomb to help de-stress and indulge in some physical and mental self care.
- Take a hot or cold shower, even if it’s quick.
- Brew a cup of caffeine-free tea. The caffeine could increase anxiety so I’d recommend avoiding that, but the warm beverage itself can be very soothing.
- Look into volunteering somewhere local. You’ll be benefiting your community and also have a reason to feel good about something in this world – the hard work you’re putting into making it better!
- Write. Journal, write poetry, or blog. There are other options too. Express the emotions you’re feeling. They are valid.
- Coloring books are extremely soothing, even if you haven’t heard of the adult coloring books trend and it sounds silly to you. The simple act requires some concentration but not enough to make it difficult, and you may find it very helpful in coping with negative feelings or anxiety.
- Put your hands in cold ice, or hold ice tight for a minute. The bearable pain from the cold is especially good if you are struggling with a dissociative disorder or strong sadness.
- Reach out to those you love. Let them know you care. Send an email with cute animal pictures to your favorite people, or call someone who matters a lot. Talk, make sure they’re okay, make sure you’re okay.
- Deal with anxiety preemptively if you need birth control but need it covered by insurance to afford it by looking into longer term options, since we may have access to birth control restricted in the next four years. Implants that go in your arm can be effective for up to four years, and IUDs can be effective for up to 12!
- Paint your nails, do your makeup, or use a face mask, if you enjoy that sort of thing. It may not help much, but you’d be surprised how soothing these acts can be for many people.
- Look into local community events coming up protesting the election results, and other similar events. I don’t think anything can be done about the situation, but you’ll meet like-minded people who may help you cope with your frustrations and fears.
Okay. That’s all I’ve got for now. Feel free to share suggestions for coping or helping things be better in the comments. I’m emotionally drained and still crying more often than not.
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