How to take care of yourself in political uncertainty

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We all remember when Donald Trump became president of United States in 2016. The world fell into a state of depression and despair. Everyone I talked to was disheartened, scared, confused and disillusioned. With reason. No one knew what to expect, and even now a few years into his presidency, it feels like people are always holding their breath, afraid of what will happen next. I feel his presidency has caused a lot of people's nervous systems to go into overdrive. 

When our nervous system goes into overdrive, we have three choices, we fight the perceived threat, we flee the perceived thereat or we freeze. Some people started to fight (and they still are), some people left the country or just checked out, refusing to have anything to do with politics and trying to only focus on their personal lives. Other people froze. Froze in the shock, fear and disappointment to the point of resigning themselves to "what's the point", " I can't make any change anyway",  "It is all messed up" etc. 

Today, as Ontario goes to the ballots and there is the potential threat of electing our own version of Trump, an extremely unqualified person who embodies so many, if not all of the isms plaguing our modern society, I feel we must learn from the past and take better care of ourselves so that no matter what happens we will not push our nervous systems into overdrive and will have the energy required to make change. 

If the health of a society and community is measured by the health of each of it's individual members than in order to build a community and society which is resilient, which is able to choose hope, optimism and love, and use these to make tangible actions which benefit the greater whole, we must take care of each of it's members. 

So no matter who you vote for, we all share this home and we all must ensure that the well-being of that home does not lie in just the hands of one leader, rather we must place the responsibility and the power back into each one of us and through self-care, take care of each other and the home we share. 

So here are some tips on how to take care of yourself during political voting times. 

Step 1 = Don't watch the news until the end.

Often times, during uncertain times, news will be on a 24 hour rotation, bombarding you with people's opinions, analysis, predictions. Remember that the only news that counts is the final one when it is all done. 

Jack Layton

Jack Layton

Step 2 = Connect with people who respect you so together you can be the change you want. 

Often times, politics can bring out the worst in people, putting each other down, calling each other names and so much. And this can sometimes all happen in your family or friends circle. So instead of taking your energy trying to "make someone see your view", round up people who respect your values and talk about how you can work together to make change (even if your party wins, especially if your party wins). It's also ok to not jump into action right away, give yourself time to celebrate or process and then come together and ask yourself " how can I make this world a better place? 

 

Step 3 = Do not forget you and your needs. 

Take a moment on the day of the election and the day after (especially if your party did not win) and do something that makes you feel good and relaxed. Do not feel guilty about it, re-charge your batteries, rest, take a day off, take a bath, or a walk, mediate, write, go to the gym. Anything. In the words of the amazing Audre Lorde below: 

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