I am worried about the people who are freaking out about the election. People are nursing visible, and invisible wounds not yet healed from the wreckage 2020 has laid upon us. It’s been an eventful year. While it’s brought blessings for some people in some aspects of life, everyone has likely felt a burn in some department. We all are still mid-stride in figuring out how to move onward and upward during this clingy pandemic, and now the Presidential election is at our doorstep. My question is simple, do you know how you are going to endure this election roller coaster without losing it?
If you’re not 100% sure, read on, this is for you.
We are forging forward toward change. We can all sense this change, but no one knows what kind of change. Sure, being encompassed in uncertainty explains one reason people are freaking out. But is that all it took to get otherwise grounded, level headed people to turn into folks that freak out over an election? I think there is a little more to look at here.
How we got so Emotionally Vulnerable
Here are the facts (in my Kamala Harris voice). If you are a die-hard anti-trumper, you could possibly have your heart gouged out if Trump wins, and we need to be talking about how you can protect yourself from that level of pain. Not being able to see a reality centered in peace with Trump in office, is the set up for a post election, emotional injury.
I know so many well meaning, decent people that have cut off, cursed out, and/or waged war against all their pro-Trump friends and family. These irreversible and consequential actions are going to lead to more devastation if Trump pulls this out. We need to make sure we are all prepared with coping strategies for this emotionally significant event. But if you aren’t freaking out, there is no doubt somebody you know who is, so I want to share some nuggets that I know will help.
Let’s start with a reality check
Die-hard anti-trumper you may have subconsciously buried your detonator to inner peace beneath the soft, white, 74 year old flesh of ‘kicked out of office’, Donald Trump. That’s a serious problem. You need to reclaim ownership over your peace of mind and unplug it from this election. You actually CAN manage life, if we don’t get to see Trump thrown out on his bum, weeping remorsefully, belly down in the part of White House lawn where red ants bite, and dog’s go to pee. You CAN smile again, and function prosperously around your conservative colleagues/neighbors/family and friends with Trump holding office. I am going to ask you to start visualizing that version of reality now. I know we rather envision a more comfortable scene; something like….
Trump wallowing in gloom for losing the White House. Melania and her new, handsome, richer than Trump, Black fiance, Barack Adeola, (from that “Sh#$ hole country” Nigeria) callously walking out on the MAGA legend as he chokes on Flint tap water, in a Michigan public housing apartment, gifted to him by Gretchen Whitmer, the last person willing to answer Trump calls. All of this came to pass because karma, and science did a dance that manifested an extreme flooding event, destroying the entire Mar-a-Lago property. In the same day, Russia came to collect their $400 millie’, nobody wants to make a deal, all his accounts are frozen, and his kids refused to give back a slither of the ownership he relinquished to them while he was President.
YES!—that would be a more comfortable visualization over another four years of a Trump Presidency but unfortunately we need to ‘lol’ pass that dream, and focus back on the reality that TRUMP. MAY. STILL. WIN and accept it.
Let’s be clear I am not asking you to give up hope that decency can win the White House. No, that would be such a killjoy. I am asking you to not base your hope on a single outcome, and promise me, and yourself, that you will keep hope alive no matter what the result of this election turns out to be.
Mindful Perspective Shift
We owe it to ourselves to reclaim our life back after this election, better yet right now. You, and I can not do that by hyper-focusing on Trump’s removal. If you voted, you did your part in pushing him out. Too many of us have mistakenly made removing Trump our “movement,” but that will not yield the connection, and unity we desire for our country. What does uniting really look like?
In yoga, uniting our movement with our breath is a practice that creates a deep energetic connection to a sense of positivity, and flow. What if you could see your movement as justice and humanitarianism, and your community members, as the breath that gives your movement life and flow.
That will bring connection.
That will usher in a new era.
I understand, and empathize with the reality that the ugliness of this administration has created an unsafe feeling for so many. It has triggered a collective fight or flight reaction in our country. The catch 22 here is that while people are urgently on fire for their political agenda, this instinctual fight mode we see around us is physiologically incapable of problem solving, and measured considerations. This stress response has people stuck on anger and bewilderment. It is not clear if the attempt to stay “fired up” is really serving us the way it was intended. The desperation to remove Trump is so high, it is leaving us incredibly and dangerously vulnerable to an emotional decapitation.
Here are 4 tips to keep it together and Rise Above Disappointment:
- Be proactive and consider both outcomes prior to the highly anticipated election results. As a stress management practitioner, I am a huge advocate of desensitization exercises with undesired scenarios as an emotional management strategy for anxiety inducing events. Allowing yourself to process the discomfort a bit makes it slightly less scary if and when you live it. Seeing life go on while maintaining gratitude for what still makes sense in your life despite experiencing disappointment is a way to proactively keep up your mental health hygiene.
2. After the election, stop the emotional bleeding. If Trump does win, give yourself a specific amount of time to feel bad about it. Perhaps 2-hours, overnight, but no more than 24-hours. Then push yourself to identify the next opportunity to keep serving your social/political cause. Remember, Trump winning will not end your opportunity to usher in change in your community.
3. Find a community with practices that will keep you grounded in purpose, light and love. Authentic self-care needs to be re-adopted in our society, you need to commit to a self-care community or space to help you consistently maintain your Mind & Body resilience through the coming uncertainty. Check out the Online Sanctuary I created, Reclaiming My Light, to hold space for the most effective self-care tools I have to offer in my work.
4. Find a positive place to direct your focus, and combat the urge to ruminate on stress inducing events. Rumination of trauma inducing, stressful, or painful events lead to depression, anxiety, cardiovascular illness, and psychological distress. Dr. Guy Winch, the emotional hygiene expert, suggests that we use redirection methods to halt rumination. He suggests cutting off urges to replay or engage thoughts about “the issue” cold-turkey by doing something else that takes focus. Literally anything will do, a cell phone game, love and kindness meditation, a challenging yoga pose, a brain teaser or passion project. Choose your distractors right now that you plan to use to stop yourself immediately when you feel the urge to read, watch, ponder, and/or otherwise ruminate on election woes.
I pray we all grow as a society from today onward. But regardless of what society does, I want you, the good soul reading this, to hold the detonator to your inner peace IN YOUR HAND. Pull it out from beneath this outcome you cannot control. Your life is so much bigger than who sits in the White House, no matter what happens (or happened), hold on to your steady heart, and practice valiant acceptance as you continue to get into ‘good trouble.’
Peace, Salaam, and Namaste Beauties…Until next time.
Malikah Karim, CHC, RYT-200
Your Favorite Mind & Body Mindfulness Coach
I specialize in stress management, and wellness strategies to improve health outcomes for busy women ready to embrace the changes they know they deserve. Learn more at www.PureWellnessCoaching.com or email me at info@PureWellnessCoaching.com if you need support.