I have been finding snatches of time in the day to cry since the election. A friend called it being Trumpatized. A great term combining Trump and traumatized, the cause of the trauma and the condition it is triggering. My reaction, disbelief and grief and anger over the election, has to find little crevasses in the day. Last Wednesday, I cried through Kathleen’s yoga class. I am pretty sure I was not alone. I cry between sessions and in sessions with some of my clients as they tell how they have been triggered back to memories of traumatic events from their past.
Right or wrong, whether you voted for him or not, Trump has reawakened many people’s past memories, snakes of violence jerked out of hibernation., and caused people to wonder about the moral development of the country. I can’t answer these questions.
I can give you some ideas for comfort through this time –
- Get enough sleep – not too much and not too little. Your neurotransmitter level will thank you.
- Eat warm and easy-to-digest foods – carbohydrates are helpful, soups, stews, chilis, tea.
- Stay away from too much caffeine – it will further agitate you.
- Keep your alcohol level to a minimum – flashbacks and memories seep in when guards are down and alcohol lowers the brain’s guardrails.
- Be active – it will help you keep things in balance, regulate your nervous system, and get you out of your house (where I am likely to brood …)
- Dress warm – it will calm your body so it doesn’t feel under siege.
- Respect other people’s property – march and protest but this is not a time to riot nor recreate Kristallnacht.
- Cry, find places and people who can accept your response.
- If you can’t get out of bed or still feel numb, see a therapist. It’s okay to get some help.
- Try not to re-Trumpatize yourself with on-going news shows and articles.
- Turn off your blue screens one hour before bedtime to give your brain a chance to settle down. This decreases the frequency of nightmares and allows for more restful sleep.
(Holiday meals are not the time to bring up your differences. Everyone has someone dear to them who voted in a way opposite to you. Don’t spoil this time.)
Here’s the kicker – you need to do something. As I see it, we have three options –
- Do nothing – that will keep you at war with yourself – only so many ostriches tolerated in this world.
- Work to promote your beliefs – join a group, start a group, volunteer for a group.
- Accept the results with grace – promote coming together with as calm a presence as you can.
You can do one or some combination of the three. But do something – the first option leads to feeling impotent which leads to violence against yourself and others. (Oh, and please don’t move to Canada.)
The choice is yours.