Caring For Yourself, Real Talk

Breathe: Self-Care Tips For Outraged and Exhausted Americans

So I’m not happy. Far from it. The US, a place that gave so many people so much hope, despite its history, is reverting to its worst self. I’m living in a new worst self. And I’m heartbroken and scared and angry and exhausted.

What do you do when the White House can’t be believed?

Many of us find ourselves in a similar cycle on top of our everyday lives — anger, outrage, fact-checking, disseminating the latest threat to our freedoms and the country we were becoming, calling and writing to people in power to try to turn things around, attending protests, donating money, and arguing on social media with folks who won’t change their minds. Because for some, this is the very world they voted for and that is bewildering and unimaginable to so many of us.

It’s exhausting. It’s defeating. Every step we gain, we find 5 leaps have been taken in the wrong direction while we slept, laughed at a birthday, grabbed coffee with a friend.

Exhausting and defeating for sure, but it doesn’t even begin to hold a candle to the exhaustion and trauma the 2000+ children of asylum-seeking migrants are facing each and every day they are without their parents, without comfort, in a strange land, with strange people treating them poorly at best. And while everyone is fighting over who started this policy on Facebook (it was Trump’s zero-tolerance policy), children are suffering. Children.

I ask myself, “What if it were your kids…” and I can’t even finish the thought, because I know the agony, pain, and fear and worry is greater than the worst thing I can imagine. If these girls were taken away from me with no indication of where they were going and when I’d see them again… I’m broken at the thought.

After two years living under this administration, I can tell you this loop of outrage, anger, calling, writing, donating, and arguing has major mental and physical ramifications. I feel guilty during my happy moments. I feel helpless during the dark ones. I feel worry when I unplug for my own mental health. And I feel a myriad of emotions in-between.

But this is supposed to be about self-care. Some of you may find you need permission to take care of yourself in the face of these atrocities. This is your permission. Some of you may need a reminder to take care of yourself between calls, writing, fighting with family and friends on FB. This is your reminder. Some of you never had a plan for self-care in the first place, because you didn’t need one. I’ve got some suggestions for you. Some of you may find your old de-stress go-tos aren’t working anymore. Hopefully, this post will give you some new ideas.

My Self-Care Suggestions For Being Your Best Self During These Tumultuous Times

  • Be proactive. If a new policy outrages you, it is SO EASY to find resources online with doable actions:
    • Make Calls
    • Write to Your Senator/Governor/Representative
    • Donate to Reliable Organizations
    • Protest
    • Volunteer
    • Speak Up
    • Speak Out
    • Vote
    • Taking positive actions for your cause will help you feel empowered. And you are powerful, even when you feel helpless. (Someone reminded me of this on Instagram recently. I needed to hear it so I’m sharing it with you.)
  • Step Back and Take Care of Yourself
    • You need energy to do all the things and manage your outrage and real life.
    • Take a digital sabbatical.
    • Have a cry and a nap.
    • Eat well.
    • Have some chocolate.
    • Read a book to escape.
  • Breathe
    • This can mean many things:
    • Exercise
    • Meditate (it doesn’t have to be pretty)
    • Pray
    • Wish
    • Yoga
    • Rant
    • Holding it all in is stressful. Get it out with your breath any way that works for you.
  • Celebrate
  • Breathe
    • Yes, again. Do this a lot. Just writing this post I found myself holding my breath a few times.

What do you do to de-stress? To be your best during these very tense and emotional times? I need all the tips I can get. Let me know in the comments below or on Instagram or Facebook.

Self-care tips for everyone who is feeling too much, but still has things to do in the face of Trump's administration.

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