How to Practice Post-Election Self-Care Sometimes, self-care is best achieved through caring for others.

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captureHello, loves. Let’s just get right to it: Self-care is more important than ever. This month has been heavy. These are my post-election self-care tips.

F E E D  Y O U R  B O D Y,  M I N D ,  A N D  S P I R I T

First things first—cry, laugh, hide, lay down, sit on a floor, scream, jump, etc. Let your body and emotions react. Then begin to process. This applies to any major event, conversation or  traumatic experience that demands your reaction. I recently heard a man on a podcast say “We are primal.” It’s true—we are still a very young civilization. These are early years for the humanoid in the grand scheme of this earth and universe. We are still figuring things out. So sometimes we need to eat six donuts while weeping with our shades drawn.

I also read somewhere it’s important to not shame nor judge others for how they deal with their pain. Please keep this in mind as you process.

Next: Check your vitals. Are you drinking water? Are you eating? Are you talking and listening? Paying bills? Do these actions as necessary. And go outside. Bundle up or take an umbrella, whatever you need to do. Walk and/or move your limbs deliberately.

Finally, what’s the task or hobby in which you lose yourself? If possible, participate in this task for a little while every day. Maybe it’s knitting a scarf for your partner, maybe it’s listening to music, maybe it’s cooking. Let yourself compartmentalize pain, anguish, sadness and anxiety for a minute while you do what you love most.

 

F E E D  O T H E R S

I’ve organized my column a little differently this month in order to emphasize the importance of caring for others. Many are scared, hurt and sad, including many reading this column. Our number one responsibility is not money nor status; it’s the earth and it’s each other.

Be kind. That’s it. My friend Justin recently referred to an action as “not easy, but simple.” I think this is true of kindness. A lot of times, our primal selves want to hate and judge and sneer at those we disagree with. This is weakness. Yes—it’s absolutely important to defend ourselves in the face of social justice and human rights, but until we are attacked or targeted with hate, it’s important to be compassionate. Every one of us is complex—there is so much happening in our hearts and our minds every minute of the day and we must honor that. Kindness is strength. Let us arm ourselves.

Educate. First, educate yourself. When someone on the radio uses a word you don’t know, pull out your phone and look up the definition. When someone talks about a policy or politician you don’t know about, ask them to tell you more. I recently met a Native American woman in Taos Pueblo in New Mexico during a vacation. My friend and I ordered “fry bread,” a local recipe, and she promptly started rolling out the dough in front of us, assuring us we should watch her make the bread so we would know what was entering our bodies. Listen to the diverse voices surrounding you; they’re music.

Speaking of diverse voices: ‘Tis the season of long dinners with family and friends. Varied opinions and experiences are inevitable, but not only that, they are healthy. We need variety to thrive in our workplaces and communities. When people think their opinions are 100% correct, we run into issues. If a loved one says something offensive, it’s important to make them aware. A simple way to do so is by saying, “I don’t agree with you. Can you tell me why you feel that way/said that?” I hope this leads to a fruitful conversation … and even if they shake their heads, they will remember and they will reflect. Now, again: This is simple, but not easy. Sometimes silence feels like the only option. But as I said in a previous column, you want to leave your interactions thinking, “Did I do my best? Am I leaving this interaction feeling regret? Or pride?” Regardless, you’ll be exhausted, so be sure to recharge. Life is hard work. But I am with you, and I pledge to engage in the difficult tasks alongside you.

Lastly: Give. Pick a cause. Or pick ten! Just find an organization that is important to you and either give money or time. Protest, march, write, create, do. People need us locally and they need us internationally. Some of my favorite organizations include EngenderHealth, The Audre Lorde Project, and The Young Center for Immigrant Children’s Rights.

I’ve heard and continue to hear so many strong voices over the past two weeks, so it’s hard to choose only one to quote. I chose a line from the healing poem, God is an American by Terrance Hayes: “Yes, I have a pretty good idea what beauty is. It survives/ alright. It aches like an open book. It makes it difficult to live.” We still have beauty. Find it and share it.

Take good (self) care, friends. Trust your gut. Weep and eat donuts. Please reach out to me if you’re feeling scared, lonely or lost; I can be contacted at [email protected]

 

Yours,

Mary Adelle

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