I’m not sure if you’ve heard, but there’s a big election coming up. We’re choosing the next leader of the free world, and the process has made people lose their minds.
Spend any time on Facebook, or the internet in general, or really simply breathing oxygen in any public arena, and you will find normal people turned completely inside out over the current political temperature of our country.
We’ve gone crazy.
And so, with the swearing in of a new President looming before us, I offer a few tips for surviving the next few
weeks years with your sanity in tact.
1.) Consider keeping your vote to yourself
I wrote an entire post about this topic on a little site called The Huffington Post last month, and I think it’s worth saying again. There is nothing wrong with keeping your vote to yourself. One of the beauties of a free society is our freedom to vote for whomever we want.
The point is we get to vote. We have the freedom to choose, and this is a huge deal.
Are our choices this year less than desirable? Yes, they really are. But are they worth losing friendships and falling out with family? Well, now I’m not so sure about that.
Free speech is a beautiful thing, and of course we each have the option of sharing our vote with whomever we choose. But that freedom must be weighed against the consequences of that sharing. So each of us has to decide what is more worth it to us: sharing our opinion or maintaining relationships.
2.) Turn debates into drinking games
I mean, listen – I’m not an advocate of irresponsible drinking. But I’m also not an advocate of debates. As a mom, I listen to children fight and bicker all the live long day. The last thing I want to do when I get said children to bed is spend my precious, quiet evening hours listening to…well children argue and bicker on television.
So maybe we have just a little fun, eh?
Every time Donald Trump purses his lips in disdain, take a shot.
When Hillary Clinton gives a mirthless laugh, takes a swig.
When Trump repeats himself with exaggerated aplomb (“I mean, they really like me. They love me. I’m, like, their favorite person on…the planet“) pour a glass of wine.
When Hillary mentions all her experience and how long she’s been preparing for this role, just take a drink straight from the bottle.
Short of just turning the TV off completely (which I will probably do), this is the only thing I can think of that might make a debate mildly tolerable.
3.) Use politics as a motivator to get in shape
Drinking games not your speed? (They’re not really mine, either) Then how about turning politics into workout?
Every time Donald Trump purses his lips, do ten sit ups.
When Hillary Clinton gives a mirthless laugh, do ten push ups.
When Trump repeats himself with exaggerated aplomb (“I mean, they really like me. They love me. I’m, like, their favorite person on…the planet“) take a jog around the block.
When Hillary mentions all her experience and how long she’s been preparing for this role, do two sets of ten squat jumps.
Exercising your way through the next few weeks, and then the four years following (which are sure to remain contentious), will benefit you in more ways than one. For starters, your pants will fit better, and you’ll be pumping your body full of endorphins, which will keep you happy, thus preventing you from losing your mind over it all.
Sounds like a win-win to me!
4.) Watch Saturday Night Live
If anyone can make election season fun, it’s SNL. So instead of watching the actual debates or presidential speeches, take some time to watch the spoofs. They’re more fun for everyone.
5.) Don’t Live in Fear
This political season has been one of the most fearful in history. Partly because social media lets us share information so much quicker, and partly because the world at large feels like it’s spinning out of control. We want a leader who’s going to tell us it will all be okay, but here’s the problem with that:
There is no man (or woman) who can fully protect us. Putting that kind of hope and trust in any one person is always cause for disappointment.
So let’s raise our chins and stand tall leading into the next four years. Don’t let the election destroy friendships, and don’t live your days in fear. Our country is more than the sum of our President, so let’s not depend on one fallible candidate to bring about changes we all desire.
Unity and healing in this nation will begin with us, not our politicians. Let’s start there.