No matter where you live, you are probably completely fed up and exhausted by the U.S Election 2016. If you are a U.S. citizen, you are even more tired of it, even if you were on the winning side. So it’s time to purge and detox. Like a colon cleanse, this list is designed to rid yourself of the impurities that collected in your system. Add your own through the comments — that way we will have more ideas.
- Bake. Baking not only fills your home with delicious aromas, it also is a way of creating and getting your mind off that which is disturbing.
- Read a book about a group of people who you know nothing about. You will grow. You will learn. You will grow more empathetic.
- Apologize to someone who you offended during the election cycle. If you think you didn’t offend anyone, think again. If you were on social media expressing your opinion, you probably did.
- Hold and cuddle a baby. Babies will remind you of all that is good and holy in our world. Babies will remind you that God still wants the world to go on.
- Don’t post false news and information. There is a plethora of false news going around. It’s worse than it has ever been and it is hurting people. Before you post anything, please do the following:
- Read it – People post things without reading them all the time and then they’re upset when others call them out on something the article says. If you post it, first read it.
- If it’s from The Onion, The Babylon Bee, or another satirical site, remember — it isn’t real. The goal of those sites is to make us laugh at the ridiculousness of news headlines.
- Check the date! There are so many pictures going around from a year ago, two years ago. Check the date and the story. The story may be outrageous, but if it’s an old story, then we already had our chance to be outraged and for god’s sake, don’t make us get outraged again!
- Eat homemade bread with raspberry jam.
- Put on classical music and let it flood your soul.
- Make friends with someone who doesn’t look or believe like you do.
- Take a long walk.with a good friend and make election talk off-limits.
- Get involved in some sort of service project. Whether it’s feeding the homeless, volunteering at a shelter, making refugee kits or something else, I guarantee that there are organizations that need your time and skills. Winter is a time when social service agencies need all the help they can get. Check with your local homeless shelter, community health center, Salvation Army or other community based organizations.
- Limit your time on social media. Hide the posts of people who you feel aren’t helping. Give yourself a one day sabbath. Consider Pico Iyer’s quote “In an age of movement, nothing is more critical than stillness.” In a book called The Art of Stillness: Adventures in Going Nowhere. Iyer writes that many people who work in Silicon Valley try hard to observe an “internet sabbath.” For 24 or 48 hours each week they go completely offline to get a sense of focus and perspective, so that when they go online again, they will have the creativity to do what they are paid to do. The irony is profound. They sit in stillness in order to create programs and platforms so that we never want to go offline. Defy the creators of social media and find time every day to be still and away from social media of all types.
- Invite someone for a meal or tea.
- Play a board game with friends. On Thursday of last week, we played Ticket to Ride India version with my daughter and her boyfriend. It was perfect timing. We didn’t once talk about the election – we just concentrated on building trains from Bombay to Calcutta. It was therapeutic and fun, just what we needed.
- Set boundaries for yourself. If you are going to be having Thanksgiving Dinner with people who you disagree with politically but love deeply, then decide ahead of time that you won’t go there. It’s not worth it. Relationships last – politics and elections don’t.
- If you are someone who prays, pray that you will be part of the solution, not part of the problem.
- Read these books to better understand the worlds of others:
- Read the beautiful When Breath Becomes Air and thank God you are alive.
- Head over to this piece and think about what it is to love well. What does it mean specifically for you?
- Watch The Crown on Netflix. It is an excellent series that follows the reign of Queen Elizabeth II. Watching another country’s system of government that includes a monarchy is a breath of fresh air. The resounding cry of “God save the Queen” and “Bring back the monarchy!” are on my lips after every episode.
- Lastly, you will never regret being kind. A couple of months ago I was in a hard spot. I felt hurt and sad about something that had happened. As I was thinking about it, I realized this: I would rather be sad and hurt then bitter and angry any day. Sad and hurt can heal, bitter and angry tends to fester into a wound that needs surgery. So I’ll continue to choose kind.
“Human knowledge is never contained in one person. It grows from the relationships we create between each other and the world, and still it is never complete.”
That’s all I have. What can you add?