This is going to be reeeeeeally difficult for a lot of us. Here are ways to keep yourself treading water:
1. Keep it in the front of your mind that millions of us are having a hard time this week. You are not alone. You are not alone.
2. Don’t get into any fights on the internet with anyone for any reason. Let them be right. Walk away. Whether it’s about politics or regional pizza variations or gun control or anything. Just walk away. If the non-existent fight is with someone you love, you can always revisit it later when you’re not so bruised or you could just let it go entirely. And if it’s with a stranger, then walking away is a gift to the world.
3. Consider getting off the internet entirely for a few days or a week or a month. Read some kind of fiction that has an implausibly happy ending. Knit a baby sweater for someone’s baby. Let your kids teach you how to play their favorite video game. Chew gum until your jaw hurts. Just do something else.
4. Meditate. Download a meditation app and use it, or do the one I made for you last week. Five or ten minutes a day will work marvels.
5. Seek out soothing touch from the mammals in your life. I don’t mean to shortchange snakes and birds, but hugs and snuggles are more powerful coming from your mammal pets and friends and family. “I could use a hug” is a good way to make your needs known.
6. Find one or two people who are willing to talk out their feelings with you. It helps to be able to talk about expectations and disappointments, anger and sadness. You don’t have to display yourself for anyone and you don’t owe anyone your pain, but being honest with a few people you really trust will be a release valve.
Above all, remember that you are not alone. While you’re in line to vote tomorrow, the person next to you might be trying to hold back the tears like you are. Just showing up every day is good, important work. You can do it.