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Post-Election Do’s and Don’ts: Everyday Tips to Be a Better Human

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(Photo: Stocksy)

DO:

  • Make an effort to smile at someone; it could turn their day around and make them feel less lonely.

— Suzan Bond and Kia M. Ruiz. Suzan Bond is a Fast Company contributor and the founder of Bet On Yourself, which supports independent internet creators through business, marketing, and branding strategy.  Kia M. Ruiz is a environmental and consumer resource consultant. You can read more of her writing at Bodhibear.net

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Kia M. Ruiz (l), Suzan Bond (r)

 DON’T:

  • Assume that you can pick up stakes and move to Canada. Or New Zealand. Or anywhere else. If you’re serious about becoming an expat, form a logical plan and know that it’s going to take some time (and money) to execute.
  • Spend your time obsessively cruising news sites. This will only depress you. I promise. You’re better off spending the time seeking a reminder of what brings you joy.
  • …Or social media. Tempting though it may be to seek the comfort of your people online, balance that time with face-to-face contact (maybe using social media to set up this IRL support).
  • Eat/drink your emotions. Excess food and alcohol (or other drugs) may be temporarily comforting, but will leave you feeling lousy in the long-term.
  • Attempt to stabilize by buying things. Same as #3: might feel better briefly, but will feel worse when the bill comes due.
  • Engage in financial panic. Touch base with your financial advisor, but the markets have already rebalanced and the initial shockwave seems to have subsided. You don’t need all that canned tuna. Really.
  • Vent your feelings in acts of vandalism or destruction. We’d hope this goes without saying, but the news is proving otherwise (dammit, must start paying more attention to #1).
  • Make assumptions. Give people (especially those you love) the opportunity to engage in dialogue if you think that their ideology may not align with yours. At least if you decide to sever ties, you’ll do so knowing that you tried to take the high road.
  • Waste your energy on negativity. Feel all the feels, then concentrate on turning that into forward movement.
  • Hide your feelings. You’re entitled to them (see #6) and they’re going to come out anyway; you may as well own them.
  • Let this become your everything. It’s easy to let the shock/depression/mourning (depending on where you are in processing) overwhelm all other aspects of your life. Try to retain as much balance as you can.
  • Keep your kids in the dark. If you are a mom, your kids will know that something is up. If they are school-age, they’re going to hear it from their peers or from you. Better for it to be from you.
  • Buy from corporations that funded the Trump campaign. Companies like Yuengling and New Balance may rethink their support going forward if it hurts their bottom line. mic.com ran a list of corporations with ties.
  • Let others lecture you.This is not the time for “splaining” of any variety. Whatever the intention, being lectured right now is likely to just piss you off. Feel free to let the lecturer know that you can’t listen right now (or maybe ever).
  • Give up hope. People will tell you that there are checks and balances, that presidential terms are only four years, that the House and Senate still need to recognize the desires of their constituents and that Clinton’s capture of the popular vote means they can’t afford to alienate those views. People are right.

— Madeleine Deliee is a writer, teacher, mother, and veteran of the Howard Dean campaign. 

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