21 Tips for Staying Sane in the Trump Era

1. First You Cry. If you’re among the large majority of Americans who either voted for someone other than Trump or for no one at all, begin by processing your disappointment, rage, trauma, grief and despair with others of like mind. We must provide mutual support.

2. Hunker down and play the Long Game. Cultural transition is a relay race, not a sprint. Do what you can, knowing that you will pass the baton forward to others who will continue the work in the future. Eradicating a centuries-old, life-destroying ideology is not be a quick or easy endeavor.

3. Take the Deep view. Explore history, global myth and Jung’s depth psychology, with its wisdom on the value of Shadow. This too shall pass, for better or worse.

4. Promote the Good. Focus on steadily building the world we want our children to live in. Take time to imagine and work towards this different world, a much kinder society where mutual care and cooperation with all living beings takes precedence over ruthless exploitation and competition.

5. Let go of Human Exceptionalism by renouncing the Big Lie that humans are separate from and superior to the rest of nature, so it doesn’t matter what we do to it. Deeply explore the sacredness of water, land, trees, animals, atmosphere, night stars and all of the amazing cosmos.

6. Simplify your life and lifestyle to focus on real wealth, not just cash. Slow down, declutter and move towards living in greater harmony with all of life.

7. Rejoice in the good news like the unprecedented growth of renewable energy, creative new community-building efforts, permaculture-style regenerative land care, effective political resistance efforts and restorative urban farm ventures. Yes! Magazine shares lots of these encouraging stories and is well worth the subscription price.

8. Build up resilience. Grow some of your own food – even a few herbs on a windowsill. Watch the birds and clouds. Join a local service organization or rose society. Support local growers at Farmers Markets, savoring regional food and drink.

9. Celebrate life, love and beauty with friends and loved ones.

10. Tend to our neighbors, especially those hardest hit by attacks on their physical safety or safety net (Medicare, Social Security, health insurance, etc.) Build local sanctuary. Support good causes that help those most impacted by Trump Times.

11. Quit moving and put down roots somewhere for the duration. Relocalize your life, hopefully in a state where social services endure. Keep your loved ones close.

12. Join or start local support and recreational groups. One example: start a local Sanity Circle of 12-15 people and meet regularly for potlucks where it’s safe to discuss and process ongoing news of the latest unpredictable Trump initiatives. Ideally, the group should include some local moderate conservatives as well as liberals and progressives. They too are shocked and traumatized by the hijacking of their party by the alt-right. It’s important to stay open to different points of view. We all have important ideas. Listening to others’ thoughts broadens our understanding and stimulates new solutions.

13. Support local public schools, health care and other caring institutions – they will be struggling under the new administration.

14. Spend more time in non-human-dominated nature. Take regular outdoor breaks, walk, watch birds, surf – whatever soothes your soul.

15. Develop a spiritual path and practices that help you stay balanced and calm even under deteriorating conditions.

16. Join the resistance by engaging in local politics. The momentum now is at the city, town, county and state as well as national and international levels. It’s especially important now to stand firm for green and humanistic values and to prepare for mid-term elections in 2018 and the next presidential race in 2020. It took years for the Tea Party to take over the GOP; it also may take more time that we’d like for creative “new paradigm” thinkers to become the dominant voice in the opposite direction.

17. Defocus on the Trump team as much as possible, except for precision resistance as part of an ongoing group effort. Withdrawing your attention from a narcissist is the severest punishment.

18. Focus instead on expanding a fact-based understanding the larger picture: for example, the role of international unregulated corporations on the destruction of our planet; how inequality can be overcome; the deep necessity of sustainability.

19. Now is the time to deepen our work on our own intersectional privilege issues, especially if we’re US Settlers of Eurodescent, cisgendered, straight, abled, male, employed, etc. We are all tempted to focus only on the identities where we feel victimized, but it’s time to wake up to the uncomfortable awareness of other identities where we also benefit from unwarranted special respect and consideration. For instance, here are some less-talked-about areas where we might not immediately think of ourselves as privileged: if we’re adult, do we see how we are arrogant or cruel to children or the elderly? As humans, do we think about what we do to other animals and beings we share the planet with?

20. Be conscious of what we put into our minds. Avoid toxic imagery and violent “entertainment.” Put ourselves on a media diet, with more time outside, less time on screens. Read inspirational writers who understand how to survive and thrive in dark times.

21. Pass along any hopeful good news and spread only verified facts.


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