Ever since January 20th it seems like every day we wake up to a slew of unprecedented infringements on personal rights coming out of the white house. I’ve found it difficult, and quite frankly depressing, to listen to my normal NPR programs during my work commutes as nowadays they only consist of the widespread anxiety of people potentially losing health coverage, the debate over the real economic burden (and sheer idiocracy) of Trump’s wall project, refugees from camps in Kenya who have waited decades to find safe haven in the U.S. being denied entry…the list goes on and on. I hear daily accounts of friends who have cut off familial ties over political strife and differences. Many on the right who proclaim a “too bad for you, our guy won” dialogue troll the politically-motivated Facebook statuses, YouTube channels, and Twitter feeds of those who point out the overt hypocrisy and xenophobia we see oozing out of Trump’s administration.
What bothers me most about the changes happening to our government (beyond the inevitably detrimental effects to our vulnerable climate, the invalidation and silencing of our media that tastes awfully fascist, the hopeless future of our education system and defunding of arts programs…list goes on) is how deeply I see these changes affecting people on both sides of the political spectrum. Not a single day goes by that I don’t encounter an iteration of a facebook status that reads “If you support Trump, voted for Trump, or in any way support his initiatives, please do me a favor and unfriend me immediately.” It’s been increasingly easy to not only feel hopeless, but undeniably powerless in Trump’s new era of American uncertainty. As the hostility grows, the anecdotal stories of those immediately affected by new policy change becomes increasingly depressing, and the struggle to find any common ground with the other side feels exponentially aimless, it’s become harder and harder not to go batshit crazy.
SO, for your personal health, sanity, and overall well-being, here are 10 Ways to Remain Sane during Trump’s Presidency.
1. Waste No Time Arguing Over Political Facebook Statuses
Do you really find it satisfying engaging in a passive argument with a likely misinformed Trump-supporting bigot over a Facebook status? Do you really feel that you have any impact whatsoever on the trolls who have nothing better to do than to sit behind a computer screen and regurgitate the same rhetoric that’s been making our ears bleed for the past eight months? Seriously, what a waste of time and energy. If you really want to have a lasting, powerful, meaningful impact on those people, give them a call. Or ask them out to coffee. Or get off Facebook and Twitter because you’re better than that.
2. Exfoliate as a Symbolic Shedding of “Bad Vibes”
I really cannot think of a better way to physically manifest the necessary shedding of negativity after a long day of listening to political strife, than to eradicate the dead skin cells atop one’s epidermis. There’s nothing better than coming home from a long day of trying not to literally explode, uncorking a bottle of Malbec, and enjoying the fresh scent of St. Ives Apricot Scrub wafting into my nasal passages.
3. Travel Somewhere That Has Good Tequila
Ever been to the blue agave-producing state of Jalisco, Mexico? Are you interested in pristine sandy beaches, bomb fish tacos, and sip-worthy tequila reposado for days? Do you seek a drama-free refuge drenched in sunshine and cheap accommodations? Try visiting our friends on the other side of the soon-to-be wall while relations are still amicable.
4. Learn a New Language
I heard Russian is really in right now.
5. Grow Plants and Shit
Resist Trump’s environmental policy by adorning your living spaces, workplace, or garden with lush greenery! Although herbaceous flowering plants can be hard to keep alive, asparagus ferns, aloe, and anthuriums are better suited for those without green thumbs. Not only will you thrive off the abundance of oxygen generated by your newly-planted motherf*cking forest, but they’ll look nice too.
6. Cook to Calm the Nerves
You know what I like to do with a dozen of WHITE eggs? Name them after each one of Trump’s cabinet appointees, and crack em open over a searing hot saucepan. Here are 50 recipes that require eggs.
7. Watch Some “Feel Good” TV with REAL American Values
How about a show that portrays the unconditional love within a family that has queer, interracial, vulnerable, overweight members, who support each other through the good and the bad? This Is Us is a great place to start. This show depicts an homage to the “family values” that REALLY make a difference in American society, such as acceptance, love, and compassion.
8. Volunteer at an Animal Shelter
Tired of being subject to life and the terrible people in it? Volunteer your time to those who don’t have a voice. Even making a small positive impact by taking a shelter dog for a walk will be meditative for you both. And you won’t have to listen to any political nonsense.
9. Take Up Meditation or Yoga
Did you know that meditation has been studied to lower cortisol levels in the blood, potentially decreasing the risk of physical and psychiatric disorders that can occur as a result of high levels of stress? That’s right – sitting and clearing your mind for several minutes a day can make you as calm, cool, and collected as Anderson Cooper enjoying frozen yogurt. Are you aware that the intense focus on breathing, stretching, and improvement of flexibility incurred during a yoga session can boost immunity and prevent diseases? That’s right! Who needs health care coverage now?
10. Focus on Self-Improvement
What better way to say “f*** your bullshit” to your uninformed, backward, “conservative” relatives than to lose 20 pounds, absolutely slay at work, and let your goddamn talents shine through, despite all odds? Not only will every rep at the gym be a healthy distraction from the abundance of deplorable garbage coming out of our failed democracy, but it will also serve as a testament to your own personal improvement. Plus, with the extra cash, you will be made by destroying the game at work, you will have more disposable income to donate to the ACLU!