Even before the election results rolled in, we knew from the entire campaign — our country is in trouble. Those of us who are obvious targets of all the “-isms” have know this for a long time. Those of us with more privilege, are just waking up.
We have to activate now. Grieve, yes. And also act.
This is the first in a series on post-election care and activism. I hope it serves you well.
Let’s just jump in….
One of the things that is happening to many of us, is that we are having a trauma response. What this means is your body is recalling past trauma, and kicking into the physical state that it was in the last time terrifying shit happened. It’s muscle memory, and an adrenal response based on all the fight or flight responses you had….during child hood trauma, in that car accident, during an attack, on 9/11,,,etc.
Here are some practical, physical things that may help:
Slow your breathing. Take measured breaths. Count them off on your fingers by touching the finger tip to your thumb on one hand, and then the other. This helps you focus on each breath. This will help restore your heart rate and pulse.
Eat Comforting, Nourishing Food. Your grandmother’s posole, a BLT, beet juice. Whatever immediately says to your body — nutrition and love coming your way– eat that. Watch out for too much sugar and caffeine, which will activate your flight or fight response.
Drink Water. I can not emphasize this enough. Lots of clear, clean water flushes out toxins, helps all the organs of the body function with less effort (they are stressed out right now), and restores hormone balance.
Rest. And by this I don’t just mean sleep. I mean rest. Try to be in silence a few minutes a day. Or sit down and watch something comforting on tv. Read a book. And yes, nap. If your work schedule doesn’t give you any wiggle room, at least commute home without the radio or with a consciously selected good book. (i.e. don’t scroll)
Walk. When adrenaline is pumping in your veins you can burn it off through movement. That’s why we say “Walk it off.” It’s not just so you can cool down an overheated through process, it actually has positive physical effect.
Don’t Over Use. I know we all want bourbon, sugar, a toke, and perhaps an extra dose of Xanax . It’s totally legit to treat your anxiety and get out from under the strain. But do it with awareness. Numbing out will mean you have to process this all later. Moderation in all things.
I know I usually have more poetic ways of putting things, and this list is not my normal way of speaking. But it’s what I’ve got today — and I’ve learned through many traumatic experiences that these things really do help. So here it is! f this was helpful to you, please pass it on.
If you’d like some ongoing support, feel free to book a mentoring session with me or join our free, online soulcare community for women, Flock. Because it’s like I always say, “there’s nowhere to go, but together.”
I’ll be back soon.