Ever since the election, I’ve had this persistent feeling of uneasiness and of being unmoored. I’ve discovered I didn’t know people I thought I knew. Progress I thought had been made turned out to be part smoke and mirrors. The vileness and hate others now feel they have the permission to express tugs at some dark spot in me to respond in kind. But taking the low road only causes everyone to lose.
When a thoughtless or unkind word is spoken, best tune out. Reacting in anger or annoyance will not advance one’s ability to persuade. ~Ruth Bader Ginsburg
Gal pals share having similar feelings. We’re all trying to adapt, deal, or adjust to the intensified situations, issues, and challenges swirling around us.
Some of us cope emotionally—leaning toward “tend and befriend” activities. Others prefer to cope through action—the “fight or flight” approach. Regardless of the approach, taking action in response to the stress or trauma is better than inaction.
If you’re feeling the same unease and casting about for ways to deal with it, here are some ideas.
Isolation makes people more vulnerable. ~Jack Saul, director International Trauma Studies program
Talk about your negative feelings with a trusted friend or family. Don’t bottle them up, drown them in food or alcohol, or release them like the furies on someone who has a different point of view.
Anyone can get angry, but to do this to the right person, to the right extent, at the right time, with the right motive, and in the right way, that is not for everyone, nor is it easy. ~Aristotle
Pick a cause that’s meaningful to you and get busy supporting it with your work, wealth, and/or wisdom. You can find a list of issues and groups here.
Skip over-indulging on the “counter-factual regret” stuff, which is guessing how things could be different if you’d done something different. Learn from, don’t live in, the past.
Become your elected official’s new BFF.
Be thoughtful about engaging on social media. Attacks solidify, not change, opposing positions.
Our only hope lies in the power of our love, generosity, tolerance and understanding and our commitment to making the world a better place for all. ~Muhammad Ali
Keep what’s not normal from becoming normal by gracefully and tactfully speaking out against injustice.
Don’t let opinions masquerade as facts. Call it out—with grace and tact, not venom—when that happens.
Engage in critical thinking. Read a spectrum of ideas. Be curious. Don’t lean toward only “tend and befriend” or only “fight or flight” as any strength overplayed becomes a weakness.
Hang on to hope and be kind.
Surely the day will come when color means nothing more than skin tone, when religion is seen uniquely as a way to speak one’s soul; when birth places have the weight of a throw of the dice and all men are born free, when understanding breeds love and brotherhood. ~Josephine Baker
Image source: Pixabay