This is my hope for the immediate future: this blog will be published on October 8th, my wife and I will be at Disney World having a fun, relaxing, enjoying a magical time, and the current office holder of the United States Presidency resigns.
During these past few days in our country, the United States of America, we have witnessed an extraordinary series of events. Speaker of the House, Nancy Pelosi, has begun a Presidential Impeachment Inquiry for the purpose of removing the President from office. In the 243 years of our government, no President has ever been removed from office. Never, not once. It is stunning that Speaker Pelosi has undertaken the legal process to – fire Trump.
How you doin’ with all this? Head spinning? Gut queasy? Confused? Or, are you ecstatically happy, even with a queasy stomach? These are reasonable reactions to the threat we face of losing our way of life, losing our democracy and our freedom.
So, how do we deal with this historic set of circumstance in a healthy, productive way? The same way you deal with other obstacles / stressors in your life.
Read. Learn. Research as much as makes you comfortable or uncomfortable. Ask questions when you don’t understand what the processes are. Remember this simple bit of wisdom: “an explanation is where the mind comes to rest.” It’s true! People begin to relax when they have a full understanding of the situation. Learn as much as you need.
Plan. Consciously and deliberately think through the logical manner where you can get rest, relaxation, peace of mind. Think, because your emotional reactions may lead you to a negative place. When the Amygdala (a processor of fear in the brain) feels threatened, the emotional instincts are to run (flight) or fight. Sometimes we get so overwhelmed that we freeze and become immobile. It is much better strategy to use the thinking part of the brain, ahead of time, and prepare how you will take care of yourself in the coming months. Make a plan ahead for your down time. Schedule breaks from the news cycle and make time to think / process your thoughts and emotions. Plan time to talk with trusted friends or just get outside in the fresh air. Whatever works for you, plan it, do it.
Strengths. When under duress, we naturally go to our strengths. (Unfortunately for me, my strength is snacking on junk food; I’m an expert muncher.) Going to our strengths gives us confidence, a sense of control, the feeling like “okay, I’ve got this”, all of which calms us down. So, this is a good time to go your strengths. If you’re a writer, this may be a good time to immerse yourself in writing. Maybe writing your novel or in a journal or writing letters to people who make political decisions would be soothing and calming. Maybe, simply writing to organize your thoughts and emotions is just what you need. If you have a sport or outdoor activity you enjoy, you can give it more time. If you’re a social person, go out with friends as much as you can.
If your queasiness comes from not knowing how this will end, the above ideas may help you cope. Make no mistake, unless this President resigns, the impeachment process will be long and involved. As individuals, communities and as a country, we need a strong resolve to keep the course. Our democracy depends on it.