Congratulations! Barring some sort of tear in the time-space continuum, you're reading this with the knowledge that you've survived the first 100 days of Donald Trump's presidency (a phrase I will never get used to typing). Despite any elaborate fantasies you may have had about hibernating until the next presidential election or the ghost of Franklin D. Roosevelt swooping in to save America from itself, you made it through without actually having a mental breakdown — a frankly commendable achievement. Now you just have to get through the next 100 days similarly intact, then keep that up until suddenly, it's November 2020 and Beyoncé has been elected president.
The 100-day milestone was first created by Roosevelt during one of his famous Fireside Chats. Although he was referring to a special Congressional session held that year, it eventually came to mean the first days of a presidency. Today, we still use the date as an indicator of how a president's administration is going in its early stages — you've probably heard that Trump's hasn't accomplished nearly as much as conservatives hoped. Despite a flurry of executive orders, Politico describes his policy achievements as "modest," and of the 10 pieces of legislation lined out in his 100-day "Contract with the American Voter," none have been passed so far.
That being said, he's still in the Oval Office for the foreseeable future. Although they were tough, we've got the first 100 days under our belt; the next 100 days are likely going to be similarly rough, but we've got this. Just think of how much we've accomplished so far by resisting and persisting. Now seems like a good time to stock up on some coping mechanisms not only for the upcoming 100 days, but the 100 days after that, and the 100 after that, and on and on until the next election. Here are nine to start:
1Don't Obsess Over The News
Staying informed is one thing, but obsessing over the news will just leave you burned out, especially given how often a new scandal breaks. Choose your reading material wisely, and consider putting a self-imposed limit on the amount of articles you read every day. Remember to come up for air before you drown in tales of Russian hacking and unsubstantiated wiretapping claims.
2Take Up Hiking
Next time you're stressing out about health insurance or travel plans, take a hike — literally. Research indicates that being outside is a natural stress reliever, and hiking is a great workout. To paraphrase Elle Woods, exercise releases endorphins, and endorphins make you happy.
3Learn To Meditate
When you feel like you can't turn your brain off, meditation is one of the best ways to clear your mind. Of course, you already know this; all of us have been cornered by someone extolling the virtues of mindfulness at least once. But research backs up the anecdotes: According to studies, mindfulness meditation reduces anxiety and mental stress.
4Let Your Rage Out Productively
Some people deal with stress by withdrawing; others get angry. If the fires of your feminist rage are barely banked, channel them productively. Go to rallies, volunteer with local women's rights groups, call your senator —whatever it takes to make a difference.
5Start Seeing A Therapist
Polls show that the prospect of a Trump administration was making Americans nervous long before he took office, and so-called Trump Anxiety isn't uncommon now that he's president, especially among people with a history of depression or anxiety. If you're legitimately worried about your mental health, start seeing a therapist.
6Stick To A Sleep Schedule
The CDC reported that sleep deprivation is a public health concern before the results of the 2016 election. Insufficient sleep comes with a wide range of health concerns, from increased risk for diabetes to a shorter life expectancy, and there's evidence that sleep loss increases anxiety, especially if you're already prone to it. Make sleep a priority, and it's amazing how quickly you'll start to feel better about your waking life.
7Take Personal Days
Vacations can be a source of stress for many people, to the point where some travel plans offset the benefits of time off. But even if the thought of planning an elaborate vacation stresses you out, taking time off is important for maintaining mental health. If you get paid personal days, take them — you'll be grateful you did.
8Take Breaks From Social Media
Start paying attention to how often you check social media, and how you feel afterward. To be fair, some people don't find it stressful — after all, it's supposed to be fun — and conflating it with mental health issues simplifies a complicated subject. But if logging on to Facebook or scrolling through Instagram just makes you feel worse about the state of the world (or your own life), consider taking a break for a few days.
By the way, here's a tip from my undergraduate years: If your self-control leaves something to be desired, ask a friend to change your password for you, so you can't log in without going to the trouble of asking them for the new one.
9Call Your Mom
Honestly, who doesn't feel better after talking to their mom?