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.

Photo by Daniel Schludi on Unsplash
True

The global eradication of smallpox in 1980 is one of international public health's greatest successes. But in 1966, seven years after the World Health Organization announced a plan to rid the world of the disease, smallpox was still widespread. The culprits? A lack of funds, personnel and vaccine supply.

Meanwhile, outbreaks across South America, Africa, and Asia continued, as the highly contagious virus continued to kill three out of every 10 people who caught it, while leaving many survivors disfigured. It took a renewed commitment of resources from wealthy nations to fulfill the promise made in 1959.

Forty-one years later, although we face a different virus, the potential for vast destruction is just as great, and the challenges of funding, personnel and supply are still with us, along with last-mile distribution. Today, while 30% of the U.S. population is fully vaccinated, with numbers rising every day, there is an overwhelming gap between wealthy countries and the rest of the world. It's becoming evident that the impact on the countries getting left behind will eventually boomerang back to affect us all.

Photo by ismail mohamed - SoviLe on Unsplash

The international nonprofit CARE recently released a policy paper that lays out the case for U.S. investment in a worldwide vaccination campaign. Founded 75 years ago, CARE works in over 100 countries and reaches more than 90 million people around the world through multiple humanitarian aid programs. Of note is the organization's worldwide reputation for its unshakeable commitment to the dignity of people; they're known for working hand-in-hand with communities and hold themselves to a high standard of accountability.

"As we enter into our second year of living with COVID-19, it has become painfully clear that the safety of any person depends on the global community's ability to protect every person," says Michelle Nunn, CARE USA's president and CEO. "While wealthy nations have begun inoculating their populations, new devastatingly lethal variants of the virus continue to emerge in countries like India, South Africa and Brazil. If vaccinations don't effectively reach lower-income countries now, the long-term impact of COVID-19 will be catastrophic."

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Canva

As millions of Americans have raced to receive the COVID-19 vaccine, millions of others have held back. Vaccine hesitancy is nothing new, of course, especially with new vaccines, but the information people use to weigh their decisions matters greatly. When choices based on flat-out wrong information can literally kill people, it's vital that we fight disinformation every which way we can.

Researchers at the Center for Countering Digital Hate, a not-for-profit non-governmental organization dedicated to disrupting online hate and misinformation, and the group Anti-Vax Watch performed an analysis of social media posts that included false claims about the COVID-19 vaccines between February 1 and March 16, 2021. Of the disinformation content posted or shared more than 800,000 times, nearly two-thirds could be traced back to just 12 individuals. On Facebook alone, 73% of the false vaccine claims originated from those 12 people.

Dubbed the "Disinformation Dozen," these 12 anti-vaxxers have an outsized influence on social media. According to the CCDH, anti-vaccine accounts have a reach of more than 59 million people. And most of them have been spreading disinformation with impunity.

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Photo by Daniel Schludi on Unsplash
True

The global eradication of smallpox in 1980 is one of international public health's greatest successes. But in 1966, seven years after the World Health Organization announced a plan to rid the world of the disease, smallpox was still widespread. The culprits? A lack of funds, personnel and vaccine supply.

Meanwhile, outbreaks across South America, Africa, and Asia continued, as the highly contagious virus continued to kill three out of every 10 people who caught it, while leaving many survivors disfigured. It took a renewed commitment of resources from wealthy nations to fulfill the promise made in 1959.

Forty-one years later, although we face a different virus, the potential for vast destruction is just as great, and the challenges of funding, personnel and supply are still with us, along with last-mile distribution. Today, while 30% of the U.S. population is fully vaccinated, with numbers rising every day, there is an overwhelming gap between wealthy countries and the rest of the world. It's becoming evident that the impact on the countries getting left behind will eventually boomerang back to affect us all.

Photo by ismail mohamed - SoviLe on Unsplash

The international nonprofit CARE recently released a policy paper that lays out the case for U.S. investment in a worldwide vaccination campaign. Founded 75 years ago, CARE works in over 100 countries and reaches more than 90 million people around the world through multiple humanitarian aid programs. Of note is the organization's worldwide reputation for its unshakeable commitment to the dignity of people; they're known for working hand-in-hand with communities and hold themselves to a high standard of accountability.

"As we enter into our second year of living with COVID-19, it has become painfully clear that the safety of any person depends on the global community's ability to protect every person," says Michelle Nunn, CARE USA's president and CEO. "While wealthy nations have begun inoculating their populations, new devastatingly lethal variants of the virus continue to emerge in countries like India, South Africa and Brazil. If vaccinations don't effectively reach lower-income countries now, the long-term impact of COVID-19 will be catastrophic."

Keep Reading Show less