I get it. You don’t like talking on the phone. You don’t like a lot of parties. The idea of canvassing makes you recoil in horror. You don’t want to talk to a senator you didn’t vote for. I don’t either. And I’ve done all of these things. Trust me, no one hates dealing with people that annoy me more than I do. Don’t believe me? I once faked being ill for two months just to get out of a lunch date and I actually think the BEST part of being a parent is always having an excuse to back out of plans, so trust me. I get it. I get the whole, “people drive me nuts” thing perfectly.
But here’s the thing. You must stay active. You can decide what level is comfortable for you, but I want to lay out an easy guide for others, like myself, that would rather read a book, or watch a movie, or fake your own death than attend your neighbor’s annual ugly sweater Christmas party. It’s hard for me to be around people sometimes, so I’m guessing that for many of my readers, it must be hard for you too. So here’s what:
- STAY ACTIVE. I know this sounds like a fitness post, but it’s not. I’ve been notably depressed this entire election. As a woman, it feels like one attack after another and it’s hit me hard. And on Nov. 9th, I cried for hours when I saw that Trump won. This hit so many of us like a punch directly in the heart. For me, the best way to combat depression and have energy to fight is to stay active. This can be anything. I walk every morning. It’s the most religious thing I do. I must take my dog for a walk- and that dog is my anxiety. Do whatever you like- but be active 20-30 minutes each day and remind yourself how strong you truly are. Yes, this may sound silly, but just fucken do it. I promise you’ll feel better. We all need to train like our lives depend on it, because they do.
- DON’T DRINK TO EXCESS. I’m going to lose so many of you here, but I have to say it: do not drink to excess or just don’t drink. I stopped drinking a few years ago because it made me feel shitty. If you can drink one or two and still feel great, then go for it. But if you’re like me, one turned into 6 and then it was me singing Ethel Merman for everyone and being hungover and useless the next day. I can’t afford that now, and neither can you.
- BE ACCOUNTABLE. Join one of the hundreds of groups on facebook and find a place where you are encouraged and are accountable for one action a week. You’ll stay active in our democracy and keep the liberal/democratic agenda alive and kicking. Now, more than ever, democracy is not a spectator sport. I can not stress this point enough. This country’s future depends on all of us staying vocal and not allowing the normalization of a Trump Presidency.
Now more than ever, Democracy
is not a spectator sport…
- LAUGH. A LOT. Follow your favorite comedy accounts on twitter, watch a funny show, go see stand up comedy. Laughter is so important. And ALWAYS laugh at yourself. Here’s one of my tweets. Ha.
- CALL YOUR CONGRESSMAN AND SENATORS. This is the most effective way to be heard and to have your voice count. There will be numerous reasons to call the next 4 years. This week I called to express my concern about the outspoken racist, Steve Bannon of the alt right and Breitbart, being on the White House staff. This is where political groups on Facebook are an excellent tool- to find out what’s needed and move on it. If however, you find yourself complaining all day and not being productive, then it’s a waste of time. But trust me, there are annoying people, like me, who are also very friendly. We’re there to help you and to point you to take some easy first steps.
- BE KIND TO THOSE WITH DIFFERENT POLITICAL IDEAS. I know that’s hard. I’ve been quite guilty of fighting with conservatives this past year and saying many things I’ve regretted. But let’s focus our energy on action, rather than fighting that gets us nowhere. When you feel like fighting with someone, take action- write a letter, make a phone call, contact your local DNC. Don’t lose energy on superfluous interactions.
- HUG YOUR PET. A lot. They’ll hate it if they’re a cat, but these are desperate times. Don’t think this is an important point? Then you obviously don’t have the most adorable cat ever! Do they, Mr. Whiskers? No they don’t kitty! Who’s a good kitty? COME BACK! The country needs you right now Mr. Whiskers!
- CHOOSE YOUR POLITICAL GROUPS WISELY. Right now, more than ever, there are dozens of political groups popping up on facebook and it will be overwhelming which one to choose. My guideline is this: is it a group that has a plan to take effective action, or is it a group to get up and simply talk about how much this has effected you? I think there is merit in both, but I am action oriented and want a plan, so for me, I committed to two groups right now: The Progressive Democrats and The ACLU. And if you want to do a general shout out to your friends and family, try this, I got a lot of great ideas thrown my way:
- KNOW YOUR LIMITS. Say a FIRM yes to one or two events, instead of spreading yourself thin, saying yes to 4 or 5 events, and then not showing up. Your time is precious, use it wisely. Choose one, GO, and be truly involved. I know there are some of you that can do 5 different groups, I can’t. But again, this guide is for the antisocial liberal….like me.
- ONLY SHARE REPUTABLE MEDIA. Please, for the love of god, know which news outlets can be trusted. 39% of conservatives and 19% of liberals shared garbage news through this election and that is not OK. I will include a resource for reliable sources at the end. Also, limit your sharing on social media. People can only be inundated with so much. Choose wisely. And if you can, consider making a donation to ProPublica, or getting a subscription to a reputable newspaper. They need your support now more than ever.
- BE NICE. Let me repeat myself: BE NICE. We are all going through this, we are all hurting, my pain is not greater than yours, and yours is not greater than mine. We all have different coping mechanisms. But one thing liberals tend to be guilty of is not being very friendly. WHAT? Are you too fucking cool to say ‘Hi’ and smile? KNOCK THAT SHIT OFF NOW. We need to reach out to everyone, people you never considered before, include everyone, and stop being so judgmental. Trust me, I worked as a volunteer coordinator many times throughout my career and being respectful and thanking others is something I’ve had to teach over and over. Should come naturally, but it just doesn’t. Reach out to people. Always. You might be surprised at the lovely people you’ll meet.
Best all around resource for making calls each week- this has it all. Numbers, scripts, and issues: Weekly Calls To Action to Resist Trump
EXCELLENT all around go-to site called, “Is there something I can do right now?” just click there, so many fantastic resources.
Click here for article in Patheos about which sites are not credible.
Update: A reader suggested that the Patheos article is also slanted and offered this complete list: Misleading Sites
Just a few facebook groups to consider: Progressive Democrats, Earth Justice, Sierra Club, Your Local DNC, ACLU, Pantsuit Nation, Your local Progressive Alliance, NOW, Planned Parenthood.
And, if you need more help, or want me to add a resource, leave a comment. I am here to both help and learn. Aren’t we all. Thanks so much and together, and with effort, we will get through this.