A Guide to Election-Related Self-Compassion

“Caring for myself is not self-indulgence. It is self-preservation, and that is an act of political warfare.”

A Guide to Election-Related Self-Compassion
Photo by Matthew Henry / Unsplash

Hey y’all, I wrote this short newsletter last week, long before Election Day, knowing that the only thing I felt I could predict was that this week would be stressful, especially as the composition of the House and Senate may not be clear for a minute. I won’t be hot tak-ing today.....Feel free to turn to literally the entire rest of the internet for that.

Instead, I’ll share a brief guide to compassionate nurturing of yourself during political stress, anxiety and uncertainty. None of this fixes anything or is meant to soothe you into complacency. It’s meant to remind us of self-care’s radical roots. As Audre Loudre said in 1988, “Caring for myself is not self-indulgence. It is self-preservation, and that is an act of political warfare.” So here we go.

  1. Stop refreshing the news and social media. If it’s making you anxious or putting you into a spiral, close the tab or put down the phone and set a timer for when you can check again.
  2. Eat something soothing. I made this chicken soup this past weekend in anticipation of a rough week ahead. I feel like having meals to look forward to makes me feel better? Also trying out this lemon pasta dish later this week. 50/50 chance I can convince my kids it's Mac and Cheese.
  3. Put a personal highlight on the books. I booked a massage at my beloved JCC for later in the month, so I have something relaxing to look forward to.
  4. Look for a bright spot. Is there a local race, ballot initiative or someone you’ve been following who won that you are amped about? (The NC State Senate candidate I canvassed for, Sydney Batch won, I am doing a dance about it. 💃)
  5. Enjoy fall weather with a walk. Endorphins FTW!
  6. Cuddle a baby or a pet. Or two. Dopamine FTW!
  7. Think local. I’ll definitely be writing about this more, but is there some kind local initiative that you can think about getting involved in going forward that’s not directly related to this year’s election? Like campaigning for a city's affordable housing plan, teacher's union organizing, or getting UPK on the ballot for 2024. I’ll be personally working on organizing to get raises for public school instructional assistants in Durham County North Carolina. And PS, if you are involved in any of these kinds of initiatives in your local community, I’d love to hear from you.

Part of the joy of the fight we are is the people we meet along the way. I’m grateful for you reading this newsletter and being part of my world.

What are you doing this week for election-related self-compassion? Feel free to share in the comments below.

For tomorrow’s members-only thread, we’ll be keeping it light. Earlier this year I wrote a very popular post, “10 Things That Make My Life (a lil) Better.”  I’ll invite Double Shift members to share what’s brought a little light, ease and joy their lives so far this year.

Double Shift Member Hangout

Friday 11/18 at 2pm EST w/The Chamber of Mothers

Friday 11/18 at 2pm EST w/The Chamber of Mothers

We March On! Join me and Double Shift member Cait Zogby, who’s a co-founder of the grassroots activism organization, Chamber of Mothers. The chamber is a collective movement to focus America's priorities on mothers’ rights. Their first goal is to secure federal paid family and medical leave, but they are also bringing moms together around local issues important to them. They are launching chapters across the country, and we’ll hear directly from Cait about the organization and how you can get involved in this exciting movement.


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