After This Election, Self-Care Is Not Only Important, But Essential
Sometimes, life and the world at large can be so overwhelmingly daunting and seemingly cruel that it can feel exhausting just to be awake. The news that Donald Trump has been made America's President-elect continues to trample on every one of our feelings and solicit every one of our fears, so it stands to reason that most of us will be feeling that exhaustion on a major scale. But please grab yourself a tall cup of something comforting and take a seat, because I feel the need to emphasize the importance of post-election self care right now.
At this very moment, the world — be it online, in the streets, in your workplace, or in your own home — is full of noise regarding the results of this year's election. Sure, it can be tempting to refute or oblige that noise in some way by angrily expressing your concerns for the future to your co-workers celebrating a Trump victory or by sobbing into your keyboard while arguing with a less-than-progressive goon online. However, you also run the risk of emotionally and physically imploding while doing so, and you're worth so much more than that.
While I wholeheartedly understand and respect the fact that there are clearly actions that need to happen within communities following this election result, I also happen to think there's a more immediate concern worth addressing on a smaller scale. And that's you taking great care of yourself.
Because, suffice to say, the end result of this election has left a great many individuals feeling as though their country doesn't value them, their rights, or their opinions. And while we can't change the results of the election, we can find ways to move forward. Don't feel like being alone right now? Surround yourself with like-minded, progressive, and positive people, so you can be reminded not only that hello, you're fabulous, but also that the entire world hasn't gone completely mad. Feel like being alone right now? Turn your smartphone off, disconnect from the grueling chatter and the exhausting din of the internet, and remind yourself of the very best qualities that humanity has to offer through a good book, a beloved album, or a favorite movie where happily ever afters are abundant.
Round up your favorite girlfriends and hit some bars, slam some chasers, and take your rage out on some truly regrettable karaoke. Or simply cuddle up on the couch with movies and enough junk food to slay Lorelai Gilmore in an eating competition. Take care of yourself. Take care of others. Whatever you do, just find where your happy place is and strengthen yourself within it.
I know it may feel utterly repugnant and almost impossible to seek out modes of fun, pleasure, or positivity right now in the midst of all this awfulness, but it's also crucial to acknowledge the importance of our happiness and to act upon it. This isn't frivolous fun just for the sake of it; this is self-care as a political act. This is a movement in and of itself. It's showing the power of love amidst defeat, even if that love is self-fulfilling. It's declaring yourself as deserving of emotional agency, reward, and compunction, especially so if it feels as though the election has made it seem like the rest of the country believes you don't deserve those things. It's being a source of strength to, and receiving strength in return from, your friends, family, and loved ones.
Now is definitely not the time to aggressively indulge the heavy beasts of negativity, but rather it's a time to allow yourself to mourn and to make sure that you're resting up, smiling, eating, and functioning on a stupendously healthy level. Buy yourself chocolates, wine, and the most beautiful bouquet of flowers on your way home from work. Go and escape into the dark bliss of solitude that a theater can offer while splurging on a vast cornucopia of candy. Treat yourself to a spa day. Sit in sweatpants and watch Netflix. Go dancing, go hiking, go to a theme park, go see your therapist, or hit up a beach.
But please, whether it's just for a day, the next few days, or even the rest of the coming weeks, celebrate the tremendous value of yourself as an individual and celebrate the tremendous value of the individuals in your life.
Moving forward, it may feel more and more as though our society is doing the least amount to care for us, which makes it more important than ever that we understand how vital self-care is in addressing the significance of our own fundamental needs and happiness. Trump might be in power, but it's always worth reminding ourselves that we too can be powerful. That we too are important. That we too deserve happiness, even in the darkest of days. Please make sure your lifestyle today and going forward reflects those facts. You got this.
Images: Giphy (3); NBC