Kinda wacky photo of me, isn’t it? It is several years old, but that strange expression pretty much describes how many of us are feeling in these few days left before Nov. 8. My election day plans incorporate work, friends, spirituality and wine–and HELL YEAH I’m voting too–so that I don’t waste my time fretting and foaming at the mouth about what life might be like if the Pumpkin Head is elected. But what about the days immediately following election day? Regardless of who wins, it isn’t likely to be a peaceful, serene time which will provide us with fond memories we will adore recalling when we are geezers. Nope. Not at all. So how to manage that best so that we don’t just survive that stress, but we surTHRIVE it? (surthirve is a word I created to express not only getting through a tough time, but thriving during it as well.)
First, recognize that worry is like paying a bill before it arrives, and one you are not even sure will land in your mailbox, at that. You have only so much time in your bag of bones-please don’t waste it. If you have immense difficulty shushing your inner worry wart, seek help. There are many herbs which can alleviate anxiety just as well as pharmaceuticals, minus the nasty side effects. Rhodiola and ashwaganda are some of my faves. (Please consult your health care professional before popping herbs like candy if you are on pharmaceuticals.) I recommend counseling and energy work too.
Second, find something you can tear up to release anger. Old phone books are swell for ripping and shredding the page. A punching bag at the gym won’t mind if your fists and feet pummel it. I plan to kick the snot out of the large, durable recycling cans myself–let my inner Bruce Lee play! I know Pumpkin Head will toss a royal fit if he loses, and it is gonna yank my chain!
Third, breathe! I also am diving head first into my spiritual practices, particularly those including breathe work. Most yoga studios offer meditation (often called pranayama) classes, and yin classes. Yin is cuddley yoga! Yum! Using plush, cushy props, you do nothing but lay there like a lump on a log and gently stretch and breathe.
There is also one of my favorite old sayings: This too shall pass. Perhaps not as easily as one passes wind after dining on White Castle and chili, but ya know…..Nothing lasts forever. Not even suffering. Or stinky toots.
I shall end with a fitting quote for the election stress:
“Don’t take life too seriously-you will never get out of it alive.” Elbert Hubbard