By Brian McKay
There was a sudden realization last night that Trump and his supporters were partially to cause for recent stress and depression. Maybe even the most significant cause. His win on election night had brought about far too many vodka & Sparkling Ice in that early morning; alone and in the dark. The drinking continued until 4 am and caused the late arrival to work. Four hours late.
Inauguration Day rough as well. More drinking ensued. Ever since January 20th, there has been a daily bombardment of tweets, dysfunction, boasts, name calling, conspiracies, and lies. Surely there has been more drinking and the gain of 20lbs. that came with too many craft beers. Every time an executive order was issued that destroyed the environment or eliminated consumer protections, another drink sounded like a good idea. Happy hour was a way to release everything from news alerts that appeared on the iPhone every morning.
Last night was the epiphany, after hearing the man say that he was the “most presidential” except Lincoln, the stress ensued. How dare he insult far greater men I have studied for decades? The prior days had wrought stress in the form of the aberration that was the speech to the Boy Scouts and his utter disloyalty to those from which he expects it. Simply put, the man is toxic and having an impact on many of us. It is said that being around toxic or mentally unwell people has the effect of being contagious. This man is achieving the similar impact on many and not even in close proximity.
A few recent life changes have given thought to coping mechanisms. Hopefully, they help you as well.
If these don’t help, medication isn’t a bad thing. I personally know so.
Sitting in a bar can bring the solace of being around friends and the numbing effects of one or two too many. It doesn’t help in the long run though. Alcohol is a depressant that can facilitate a cycle of being down. The day after can be brutal as well. If a hangover is bad; a hangover with Trump tweets being thrown around is worse. Cutting down will be good for both you and your pocket book.
The micro breweries have probably seen a huge jump in profits since the election, so they can handle a drop in sales while we all get back on track.
Getting on an elliptical that isn’t in front of a news station can be an awesome thing. The motivation lately to tune out, listen to music and sweat has reached the point where 45 minutes of cardio and 25 minutes of strength training is no problem. Take advantage of that motivation. Coupled with cutting back on alcohol, you’ll end up looking in the mirror with glee. It’s a huge boost.
Bonus: being able to barely walk the next day with your sore legs, also takes your mind off the orange aberration with freakishly small hands.
Pet Some Dogs
Every day, a national tragedy plays out. Millions of dogs wait for a pet. Help them out. It’s good for both of you. A tongue hanging from a mouth, means you’ve done well.
Don’t worry, you can pet some cats too, but only if they want you too.
Aren’t they cute? Pet them!
There is a reason that leaders of spirituality do this. Embrace your inner Buddhist monk and give yourself 5 minutes of mindlessness.
Modify Your Social Media Usage
One frequent criticism of the Righties has been their existence in echo chambers. Surely, you’ve seen their posts from online, so-called, “news” sources that are beyond outrageous. They have proffered crazy conspiracy theories and cries of “fake news” against real news, for what seems like forever. Those opinions get posted on anything near political you might say with the intent of starting an online argument. Inevitability, you’ll be called a snowflake or told you’re looking for a safe space.
Let them go. It sucks that we must go to our own echo chambers now but it’s due to them not us. You can’t be divided when one party is bat shit crazy. So, stay sane. On Facebook, you can simply unfollow them. If they are really toxic, block them and revel a bit with a “Take that, country destroying asshole!”
Hey, it’s ok if you don’t argue with them and try to prove a point. Crazy people don’t change.
Avoid Those Same Toxic People in Real Life as Well
OK, it stinks to have to skip Thanksgiving with the family but inevitably Uncle John is getting shit faced drunk and starts blaming the socialist, science loving libtards. You really don’t need to hear it and you really don’t want to engage it. Have a holiday with people that don’t watch Fox News for 6 hours after listening to Limbaugh and Savage for 4 hours in the morning. Family is overrated anyway.
Now that you go to the bar less regularly, make sure you reaffirm the rule of No Politics and No Religion when you’re there. A crazy Republican is bad enough. A Republican with a few drinks in them is worse.
Get Away from Civilization for a Bit
One benefit of being a liberal is that you have a life and other interests. We are blessed not to need the daily fix of Sean Hannity and conspiracy theories. None of us will start shaking and experiencing the cold sweats of withdrawal. So, take advantage of not being tethered to Mark Levin’s radio show and get out.
A hike or a few days of camping can bring peace. Missing those 40 POTUS tweets for a day of peace can be amazing.
Turn of Your Phone Notifications
After January 20th, it was a game for a while to wake up and see what tweets came out at 3 am in the morning. Wondering what the day’s disaster would be was intriguing for a bit. Now it is just draining. Turn it off. Nothing can make a bad mood worse than yet another piece of bad news popping up on your cell phone.
This morning’s news that Trump was going to roll back the Obama rule allowing transgender individuals to join the military, was the final straw. From now on the news will be read when a positive mood can handle it.
There is still plenty to laugh about while this jackass destroys our standing in the world. Life is still happening around us. Enjoy your family while those iPhone notifications are turned off.
Surely, you need no instruction or benefits given here. For the coupled up folks, have way more of it. If you’re single, the first two points will also facilitate dating.
Whoops one suggestion: Don’t leave your political affiliation blank on your dating profile. You can’t handle those people like you did in the long gone past.
Engage in Some Schadenfreude
Yes, taking delight in the misfortune of others can be healthy. If you previously didn’t think so, just think for a minute that the conservatives you know probably don’t even know what Schadenfreude means. Feels good, doesn’t it?
If you need some additional help feeling Schadenfreude, just remember that those people follow an orange guy who speaks at the fifth-grade level. They also dominate the lists of counties with lowest incomes, highest SNAP participation, lowest educational attainment, highest teen birthrates, highest opioid addiction and highest gun related deaths per 100,000. Add in that the Republican Party is out of touch with the majority of Americans and is being destroyed from within right now for a little extra boost.
Surely that helped.
Determine that you want to put an end to this depression and sadness. It’s time we save each other. Sure, the Fox News junkies vote like crazy. It’s time we vote more. Run for office, support candidates by beating the streets and attend a rally for science. If you only do one thing, get out there and vote! Our mental health needs that 30 minutes of your time on election day.
“Do you want to improve the world?
I don't think it can be done.
The world is sacred.
It can't be improved.
If you tamper with it, you'll ruin it.
If you treat it like an object, you'll lose it.
There is a time for being ahead,
a time for being behind;
a time for being in motion,
a time for being at rest;
a time for being vigorous,
a time for being exhausted;
a time for being safe,
a time for being in danger.
The Master sees things as they are,
without trying to control them.
She lets them go their own way,
and resides at the center of the circle.”
― Lao Tzu, Tao Te Ching
Just in case you needed more Schadenfreude, the Trumpsters don’t understand the above quote, or any of Tao at all. Hooray for you.