7 small things you can do right now to feel better after the 2016 election results.

As a therapist, I know how important it is to have actionable tips for taking care of yourself.

Self-care can sound cliche, but in the 2016 election drama, it's important to go back to the basics. Here are a few small things you can do right now:

1. Give yourself time and space to process the shock and grief you may be feeling.

Don’t try to rush your own personal process around this. Absorbing shocks takes time and yes, you absolutely do get to grieve this.


2. Squeeze your loved ones extra tight today.

If you have children, let them express their fears and feelings and talk with them about what this means. Reassure them that you’ll protect them and that you’ll get through this together. If you have vulnerable or disenfranchised minority groups as friends and family, reach out and see how they’re doing and what they may need specifically. Remind them and yourself that we’ve made it through tough political times before, and we will do so again.

3. Take exceptional care of yourself.

In times of shock and crisis, it’s critical that we return to the basics of self care: eat well, get enough sleep, move your body, express your feelings safely. Take things one day at a time (and if that feels like too much, five minutes at a time). Reach out for mental health support if you’re struggling: contact a therapist in your area, visit your local student counseling center, reach out to your local clergy, call a crisis hotline. Access all the supports you need in order to comfort yourself.

4. Connect with like-minded others who share your feelings.

Reaching out and connecting with like-minded others who share your sense of shock, sadness, confusion, and anger can be healing and can possibly help you feel less alone. (I’m a big fan of Pantsuit Nation.)

5. Start or continue your own personal work.

Now more than ever, we each need to take responsibility for engaging in conversations about white privilege, racism, sexism, gendered stereotypes, and abusive relationships. Continue to do your own work around your shadow parts so you can better show up as an ally in the repairing of the fabric of this nation. When we as individuals heal ourselves and make the unconscious conscious, we help the collective heal, too.

6. Donate, serve, give back.

Consider donating to groups like Planned Parenthood or other organizations that will likely come under greater attack. Volunteer your time and professional expertise to your community that may be grieving. Use your voice to educate and empower those around you.

7. Finally, don’t give up hope.

Look, I don’t have a crystal ball. I don’t know what the coming months and years might hold. I think it’s normal and natural for our minds to go to catastrophe but I encourage you, as hard as it may be, to come back to the present and recognize that we simply don’t know what will happen in the future. All we can do, collectively, is take things one day at a time and keep showing up for our lives and for each other in healthy, functional ways. In doing so, we can influence the present and affect our futures.

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This year more than ever, many families are anticipating an empty dinner table. Shawn Kaplan lived this experience when his father passed away, leaving his mother who struggled to provide food for her two children. Shawn is now a dedicated volunteer and donor with Second Harvest Food Bank in Middle Tennessee and encourages everyone to give back this holiday season with Amazon.

Watch the full story:

Over one million people in Tennessee are at risk of hunger every day. And since the outbreak of COVID-19, Second Harvest has seen a 50% increase in need for their services. That's why Amazon is Delivering Smiles and giving back this holiday season by fulfilling hundreds of AmazonSmile Charity Lists, donating essential pantry and food items to help organizations like Second Harvest to feed those hit the hardest this year.

Visit AmazonSmile Charity Lists to donate directly to a local food bank or charity in your community, or simply shop smile.amazon.com and Amazon will donate a portion of the purchase price of eligible products to your selected charity.

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A lot of people here are like family to me," Michelle says about Bread for the City — a community nonprofit located in Washington DC that provides local residents with food, clothing, health care, social advocacy, and legal services. And since the pandemic began, the need to support organizations like Bread for the City is greater than ever, which is why Amazon is Delivering Smiles to local charities across the country this holiday season.

Watch the full story:

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Visit AmazonSmile Charity Lists to donate directly to a local charity in your community, or simply shop smile.amazon.com and Amazon will donate a portion of the purchase price of eligible products to your charity of choice.
Anne Owens and Luke Redito / Wikimedia Commons
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When Madeline Swegle was a little girl growing up in Burke, VA, she loved watching the Blue Angels zip through the sky. Her family went to see the display every time it was in town, and it was her parents' encouragement to pursue her dreams that led her to the U.S. Naval Academy in 2017.

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