21 Tips For Surviving The Next 4 Years
Words: Anthonia Akitunde
"Alright" and "Freedom" on repeat, therapy, donating time and money to causes aligned with our values, and more.
America's democracy has always been a tenuous thing, an experiment held together by the will of the people. But a week after the 2016 Presidential Election, the majority of Americans are still processing the fact that the will of many people in this country is rooted in some ol' racist-ass bullshit.
There are many reasons why the President-elect now has the fate of the free world in his very tiny, predatory hands. You've probably read, discussed, and argued about them all over the last seven days. But we're not here to talk about that. We're here to present a few resources we plan on using to get through the next four years. Hopefully we'll all arrive on the other side of this four-year detour from progress in one piece, and ready to take the country back.
This is by no means an exhaustive list, but just a sampling of a few things I've seen over the past week. If you have any thoughts or resources of your own that you'd like to share, please let us know in the comments.
Self-Care & Health
It's sad how many times I've had to reshare our post "Why We Need Self-Care In The Face Of Race-Based Trauma," but there's tons of applicable advice in there, including resources for finding therapists, how to start your own self-care practice, and why getting off of social media is a necessity. (Seriously, this may kick me off my Facebook habit. Seeing that man and his cronies makes me physically ill.)
New York Magazine's The Cut has an in-depth article on various options for securing affordable mental health, now that the Affordable Care Act may be first on Cheeto's chopping block.
Do you find comfort in music? Okayplayer.com has a Spotify playlist with "songs of resilience, hope, and healing." mater mea mom Denene Millner of My Brown Baby has created a sprawling "Blackety-Black" Spotify playlist that will be in heavy rotation. And the Sisters Knowles gave us music for the times with their albums A Seat at the Table and Lemonade. (I'm only listening to the first half, "Freedom," and "Formation" though, me and America are not ready for a reconcilliation.)
Women's healthcare will most likely take a huge blow during this presidency. If you've been thinking about getting an IUD, you may want to talk to your doctor and consider doing it before next year.
I have never been someone who has ever gotten a "runner's high" or felt an immediate rush of endorphins after going to the gym. But I have noticed that when I incorporate exercise into my routine, I feel better and have an easier time getting to sleep.
Many of the women I spoke to about the election's effect on their families said that they plan to lean on their faith harder than ever during his presidency. If you're a religious person, connecting to your faith can definitely provide support.
Vote in the midterm elections to take Congress from the Republicans!
Our100 is a collective of women of color leaders—including Black Lives Matter's Alicia Garza and Melissa Harris-Perry—who "pledge our unity and determination to be ready, determined and united behind a vision and plan of action to become a nation where we can all live with dignity, care for our loved ones and the land, and thrive in freedom from all forms of inequality." You can take the pledge and donate to the mission here.
Want to hold your elected officials accountable for their (in)actions? A former Congressional staff member gives a helpful breakdown of how to get your representative to listen. (You can find out who your representatives are here.)
Hit them where it hurts by boycotting the companies that support the President-elect. Afropunk has a starter list and there's an official #GrabYourWallet Google Doc with other companies who have supported Chump. And this list of Black-owned businesses will come in handy for the holidays.
Not even sure what the election could mean for you and your loved ones? Thankfully the people behind "'Oh Crap! What Now?' Survival Guide" have compiled an impressive array of information on what this presidency could mean and how the most vulnerable populations can protect themselves. They also have a list of things to do ASAP before January, which is mighty helpful.
In that same vein, here's a Google Doc packed with great insight and support: "Concrete Suggestions in Preparation for January 2017’s change in American government"
A number of important organizations that get federal funding will see that resource dry up come 2017. Consider donating your time and/or money to these vulnerable local and national groups. Racked has a roundup of organizations you may want to support now and in the years to come.
Our friends at The Mash-Up Americans has a guide on how to talk to people across the political divide. That's not something I personally plan on doing, but I also know it's not an option for everyone.
MyBrownBaby's managing editor and licensed therapist Jasmine Banks gives some advice on how parents can comfort their children.
Writer Margaret Jacobsen explains why she's being very honest with her children about Chump's racism.
HuffPost has some advice for teachers wondering what they should tell their students about the election, which I think can apply to parents as well.
Smiles Can Exist In Cheeto's America
I have a friend who is liking every adorable animal video he sees on Facebook, which is thankfully breaking up the think pieces, news items, and Facebook dissertations I see in my feed.
The day after the Election, I wasn't ready for the President Obama and VP Biden memes. Now they give me life every time I see them.