So many people are burnt out from media discussing the election this week (including me). So I'll make this short and hopefully sweet.
The discussions I've been having with people this week have been steeped in unbelievable sadness, fear and disgust... and a LOT of helplessness and hopelessness. Some people aren't surprised and just feel resigned. Feeling is good. You need to Feel to Heal.
Part of me thought, I have nothing to contribute. People are not going to want yet another opinion piece on the election... And that could very well be true. However, that's when I realized I was falling into the trap of being closed and passive.
So, I decided to discuss two ways of approaching the aftermath of the election:
Curiosity and Action.
First, let's talk about curiosity. Being curious means you're eager to learn things you don't already know. As a white, cisgendered, heterosexual, able-bodied, upper-middle-class woman, I can't fully understand the lived experience of people of colour, people in the LGBT community, differently abled people, people from different social classes and men.
BUT- if I'm curious, I'm actively interested in learning about other's lived experiences and struggles. So I read articles, books and am generally hungry for information. Being curious means you don't have preconceived notions of what is "normal" or "right" or "wrong". Being curious means you're open to learning about what it's like to live a life that's different than your own.
Now, let's talk about action.
I'm so scared of what will happen with a Donald Trump presidency and how it will affect not only the US but Canada and the world. My knee-jerk reaction when I'm scared is to bury my head in the sand. It's so nice down there. So dark and quiet and cool...
Unfortunately, the peaceful calm of the sand is only short lived, and leaves me with even more anxiety and general unease. This is where action comes in.
Here are just a few great websites to scroll in your downtime to learn more. Maybe just reading and learning is your way of taking action. Maybe you take action by sharing something illuminating on social media. Or, maybe you volunteer some of your time to a cause you believe in. Action is the antidote to anxiety. The more action we take the less anxiety we'll feel.
- Canadian Race Relations Foundation
- Everyday Feminism
- Kelly Brogan, MD (a holistic psychiatrist exploring women's mental health and feminism)
- Huffington Post Canada Activism- Articles and news about activism in Canada
- Huffington Post Canada LGBT- Articles and news about the LGBT community in Canada
- A List of Environmental Groups in Canada
- Reconciliation Canada- An organization dedicated to providing information on indigenous cultures in Canada
It can be overwhelming to remain curious and keep learning. So what's the payoff?
- You'll be more empowered with information.
- You'll be taking action which feels better than anxiety.
- You'll be helping to build an inclusive, empathic, and strong society that contributes to the physical, mental, emotional and social health of ALL Canadians.
Thanks for reading and take care out there.