Post-Election Depression for the Conservative Activist
A week after the election, I wish I could tell you that I see the clouds lifting and the ‘can do’ spirit of Americans returning. Sadly, I am hearing of lay-offs, employee reduction in hours, increased healthcare premiums being passed to employees, companies being forced to make cuts for their very survival, increased concerns over the cost of Obamacare, taxes and more and more government regulations.
Americans are hurting. These types of legitimate issues stir in many of us fear, anxiety and sometimes depression.
This type of situational depression doesn’t always just go away after a few days. We have to be pro-active, which is not what we want to hear in the midst of the storm. I know my first thoughts are to whine, fuss, not get dressed or fix my hair, and I want to eat a lot of French fries and chocolate cake. (A lot!) That’s actually not as much of a joke as it is a very serious issue for a lot of people who are thinking “are we next?” We are angry, unsure of what tomorrow will bring, and we are grieving over the fact that our very existence the past few years has been devoted almost entirely to saving our country. For many of us, it’s been a sort of “calling”. We have been engaged in something far bigger than ourselves politically, some for the first time in our life—and the defeat doesn’t come easy.
When I took classes several years ago about how to assist people in the event of a trauma, I learned some valuable tools I would like to share.
First let me say that what we experienced last week in this election was a full-blown trauma. Make no mistake about it, there’s nothing wrong with the fact that many of us feel complete and utter despair! There really aren’t any words I can pen that adequately state what we’re feeling; for Conservatives, this wasn’t a Democrat vs. Republican election, it was a liberty vs. tyranny election and we knew it.
In this type of situation it is easy to retreat into our minds and wallow in the agony of defeat—but once you get there, it’s hard to leave. “Old Despair” wants to hang on to you! What you’re going through is similar to mourning—and if you add pain, exhaustion, frustration and depression into the mix, it can be extraordinarily overwhelming. Prayer is important–but there are also some very practical things we can put into practice to help ourselves.
1. Get up and move. Yes, it’s the last thing you want to do, do it anyway. You will feel better!
2. Go for a walk or a run.
3. Cultivate friendships. Call a friend for lunch, go see a funny movie–but get out of the house and get with positive people.
4. Volunteer. Help someone you know; visit an elderly or ill person. Pay for the person’s lunch behind you in the drive through window. Just the act of helping another lifts our own spirits. (Papa John’s Pizza is under attack by the liberals right now, so if you know a family who has lost their job, treat them to pizza!
5. Talk to someone about how you are feeling.
6. Stay away from alcohol. Alcohol depresses the system and actually intensifies the feelings of depression.
7. Avoid caffeine.
8. Drink a lot of water and eat healthy meals. Turkey has a natural chemical that aids in sleep and relaxation.
9. If you have trouble sleeping practice yoga and relaxation techniques. Take a hot bath and turn off the TV!
10. Get some sunlight everyday.
Also, don’t beat yourself up. Know that you worked hard you you did your best. “One loss does not a person make”! Take some time off from the news, television, talk radio, Facebook and the Internet. Do some light reading; get outside, go dancing, enjoy the fresh air, and be with the people you love and who love you. The battle will still be going on when you get back!
While you are away, look at the bright side; through all the negatives we’ve experienced the past four years, I bet you have gotten to know awesome Patriots from all around your community and the USA who are in this fight with you! You have been a shining example to your families, your children, and your communities. You have gained a wealth of knowledge that you probably did not possess prior about American History, our Constitution, and our Founders. So take some time off to relax, rejuvenate, and reload; then you will be ready to return to the battle as we continue fighting to save our liberty!
I need to add this disclaimer that I am not a medical professional. So please, if feelings of depression, sleeplessness, or anxiety continue, please seek the help of your doctor and talk to someone.
Also, stay tuned for part two where I will write about survival planning. I hope to gather some practical information that will help all of us be prepared for the impending storm we may be facing.