Monday, January 30, 2017

15 Steps That Help (a little) to Get Through This

Every day there is a new headline that scares the shit out of me. I'm a silver-lining/rainbow-loving/positive kind of person, but damn it is getting hard to find the light here. Last Friday afternoon, I was sitting with my in-laws having coffee talking politics and my father-in-law, who my kids call Bubba, hugged me and said "we are going to get through this." It helped. 

Not everyone has a kind fatherly man named Bubba to reassure them and tell them it will be okay. So I put together a list that might be helpful as we try to "get through this."

-Get involved and create some change
There are apps out there to find how to contact your senators and representatives. Call them. Tell your story!!!! And then call them again. Go to the coffee hours and the office hours and the town halls. Go to the protest. Never called before or protested before? Don't worry, you aren't alone. I've been so encouraged by all the first timers. Click here for more ways to get involved.

-Get a dog. (I guess a cat will do, but I don't like cats so I can't recommend them.)
I call my two dogs my therapy dogs now because I talk to them when I'm mad at the TV and snuggle with them and walk them; and god dammit I really rely on my dogs' unconditional love.

-Donate money
I don't have a lot of money, but I have a little so I donate a little. Even if it is only a couple dollars, it adds up. I just donated to Planned Parenthood and the ACLU.

Go help someone in your community. Go deliver meals or make a meal for an elderly neighbor. Become a mentor. Get outside yourself, and your fear about the world and politics, and help someone.

-Go to the movies or an art museum
Movies make me forget sometimes. And sometimes they educate me and grow my mind and heart and empathy and ahhhhh. Art museums do the same. Going to see a movie alone is one of my favorite ways to spend an afternoon.

-Go outside
Take a walk. I don't care if it's zero degrees, bundle up. Get fresh air. Notice the breeze and the trees and the sky and the clouds, and the true fucking wonder of it all. 

-Take some situational Xanax
I have battled a bit of anxiety and depression for years, but never taken any medication. I'm scared of drugs because well, my mother is a drug addict. Xanax was her gateway drug way back in the early 80s. I'm terrified of drugs. But long story short, my perimenopausal anxiety was making my life miserable and I needed help. So, my doctor game me a prescription for a low dose of Xanax. She told me I could take it to help me get through certain situations...a flight, a football game, all the executive orders by our new president (she didn't say that last one, but I added it).

Running clears my head. I'm not very fast anymore, but nothing makes me feel better than a good run. Not even Xanax.

-Rediscover the bad-assness of Hole
When life got scary and hard when I was younger I used to drive around in my car with the windows down scream-singing Courtney Love songs, trying to right wrongs and make the world better. The anger and the music helped back then and I'm trying it again now. Here's my "Live Through This" mix on Spotify--click here.

-Support a Woman-Owned Small Business
Supporting women is a good thing. Supporting women who step out on their own and start a business, that's a great thing. Watching women and friends succeed feels good.
I ran into my friend on Sunday morning and bought earrings she made that are supposed to ward off negativity. Yes please! Click here to check out her jewelry-

-Hang out with little kids
Not teenagers because they can crush your spirit sometimes. I am talking about the under 4 set. I am lucky because I work in a preschool and get to see the hope and joy in the little kids Monday through Friday. These kids are only about their right now and it usually involves toys and music and smiling. 

In preschool we talk about taking a Snake Breath when we get a little too hyper. We breathe in deeply, hold it and then exhale. While we exhale we hiss like a snake. So yeah, you should do that, take a Snake Breath every now and then. Take a minute and breathe and relax and let go.

-Take it out on a punching bag
Tim bought the family a punching bag because he thought it might be a good way for us to all get through the decade of menopausal and teenage hormones we are embarking on. Who knew it would also be helpful way to get through the Trump years?

-Listen to a Trump voter
Have a conversation in person with someone that doesn't believe the same things that you do.

If you can do it, get together for coffee with someone that voted for Trump. Listen. Really listen. Try to understand better. Then tell them what you think without trying to convince them to change their mind. Then talk about something unrelated that you both agree about. (This might be a situation where Xanax is required. Ha!)

-Dance it out
Dance crazy and hard and with wild abandon. Dance at a club, in the car, in your room, in the kitchen. Turn up the music, close your eyes and shake everything.

And then do it all over again.

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