Like almost everyone I know, I woke up after the election and felt the familiar pain of grief. I felt what I felt like after the death of my dearest loved one. A shock in my body and mind and spirit. A mangled hope wrapped into the reality of what had happened, wishing that it hadn’t. Begging the question, did this really happen? Is this the new reality I’m living into?
I won’t say put your politics aside. I say bring them in, close. I say let yourself, and ourselves, be WHOLE in our feelings, whole in our tears, whole in all of our thoughts and fears and musings.
Let us hold one another in these times. Not dark times, as adrienne maree brown reminds me, but “pale pale times.”
Our country elected an autocrat. And that is some terrifying shit.
There are a LOT of smart people writing about this election.
But let me in this moment write about us. Our healing, our self-care, our collective-care.
For those of us who are in shock, who are grieving an election in our bodies. Those of us who woke up in tears the morning after the election, or cried in our cars, or in the shower, and those of us who held space for the tears of our best friends, maybe strangers, our families...
Like so many have said, WE NEED EACH OTHER RIGHT NOW. And not just now, but going forward, for months, maybe years. We now live in an era of autocracy, and there are new rules for survival. And it’s important to not minimize our grief, or run away from the effects on ourselves and our communities.
Here are just a few ways to take care of yourself in post-election shock:
1. Host a Post-Election Healing Circle. I will write another post to help you with this. But know that gathering is powerful alchemy. Witnessing and grieving and releasing in community is medicine. Do this. You can also join a virtual healing circle of mine by reaching out to me.
2. Let self-care be your best friend Be guided by the question: What do I need right now? I have this question written on a chalkboard in my bedroom. I see it daily, and it reminds me to care for myself. What does self-care look like for you? A bath? A glass of water? Breathing? Netflix? Moving your body? Gathering w friends? A home-cooked meal? Whatever those simple self-love practices are for yourself, let them hold you now. If you need help figuring this out, just think about what makes you feel good, and do more of that.
3. If you’re an empath, take extra care of yourself. Feel the earth beneath you. Let the soil and the mountains hold you. Find your breath. Find water. Sleep more. Again, adrienne maree brown has a supportive list here for us.
4. Find Community as best you can. I’m prioritizing being with my family and friends who understand me right now. We are all triggered and in shock right now, and it’s important to remember that when we’re with our loved ones. We may snap over something little and strange. Our past traumas may be triggered, especially for those of us who have been affected in our lives by the violences that are supported by Trump.
5. Be aware of your trauma response. Whatever you do or not do in the face of trauma is okay! And, it’s good to bring awareness to your response to fear and trauma. Here’s a resource with a list of common trauma responses and self-care practices during trauma.
6. Organize. When you’re ready, in the ways that you’re ready, organize. Maybe this looks like hosting virtual healing ceremonies. Maybe this looks like showing up for racial justice in your community. Make a list of what organizing looks like for you...and do this with your friends. This doesn’t have to be something you come up with all by yourself...let yourself be a part of collective genius, with people you wanna be around.
7. Remember to bring ceremony into your daily life. I know it can be easy to forget. I know ritual and spiritual practice may seem trite in this moment. But, you are still beyond all of this. You letting ceremony and magic into your life is a radical act. Ask for help from your Ancestors and Guides. I promise they are there for you, more than ever.
In the spirit of love & liberation,
PS let me know how you are caring for yourself in the comments below <3
Sofia Rose Smith is a queer femme of color healer, writer, channel, intuitive coach. She holds space both online and offline for writing, magic, ritual, sacred communion and transformation. To join any of her healing circles, contact her on Instagram, Twitter or visit her website.