Whether you are a Hilary Clinton, Donald Trump or third party supporter, the 2016 election cycle has been emotionally draining for most. In order to keep any respective movement alive and avoid the possibility of burning out, self-care is immensely important.
Because this election has been so traumatic, the fears of deportation, lynching, sexual assault and a failing economy have become intensified realities for folks all over the United States. People are scared and exhausted, and rightfully so. Post-election blues have been hard to shake this year.
The world has become so noisy it seems nearly impossible to interact with others and not fall into conversations about the election and the state of the world. Many people have taken to the streets to protest and are putting in immense amounts of emotional labor.
However, it is okay to not feel prepared to put in immediate collective emotional work just yet. In the long run, the movement will thank you for taking care of yourself.
First, figure out your needs. At this moment, do you feel the need to be alone or surrounded by like-minded people?
Taking time to do things you love can work wonders for the soul. After a year centered primarily on politics, it is time to get to know your favorite person in the world again: yourself.
One of the easiest steps you can take is to tune out of social media completely and direct your attention elsewhere. A personal favorite routine is to turn off the phone, put on some jams and dance for as long as possible on top of the couch or bed for some optimal bounce. (Pro tip: You can never go wrong with Queen’s “Under Pressure.”)
If you need visual stimulation, Netflix has got you covered. Maybe you were so caught up in the elections you somehow never got around to watching Stranger Things. Now is the time to indulge.
You also cannot forget the return of Gilmore Girls later this month. Ample Hills Creamery, based out of New York City, has created three Gilmore Girls themed ice cream flavors that ship nationwide. Put in your order now and make plans to kick back Nov. 25 with some coffee chocolate pudding ice cream topped with Pop-Tart sprinkles.
If you would rather be around people, plan a cooking night with friends or go out for some drunken karaoke. It may feel wrong to partake in fun activities when it seems like the world is falling apart, but now is the best time to take a break from all the pain and step into a better state of mind.
Most importantly, remember you matter and deserve better than any politician the two-party system can offer. Do not be ashamed of having to take a step back and recuperate these next few days or weeks.
America was slighted by two awful candidates, and it is okay to mend your own wounds before facing what is to come. There is still a chance we will all survive.
– May Olvera is a journalism junior