It’s been a rough few months. More or less since election night, the basic structures around us feel flimsy and constantly-shifting. Our President spends his time attacking petty enemies on Twitter, our most senior administration officials are a dangerous combination of malevolent and incompetent, our trusted sources of journalism are constantly being undermined and blockaded by an administration so hostile to the press as to literally, directly label it “the opposition.” America was by no means perfect (or even, as the ill-fated HRC slogan told it, “great” for many people), but there were certain truths we could count on. And every day, opening the news or social media feeds feels like an assault on what we knew, like an assault on the basic structures of democracy.
And this has been very difficult for our mental health, and our productivity — how can you get work done when Twitter is in a constant state of melting down over the latest, most horrifying bit of news or massive, country-wide protest? And if, like me, you are prone to things like anxiety, just doing basic things like getting restful sleep and keeping up your relationships can feel undermined. On my end, this upheaval, combined with a debilitating bout of anxiety-induced insomnia, a move to a new apartment, and several professional and personal quagmires, made for one of the more difficult months of my life.
So I’ve had to do everything in my power to find solutions to this, to become more productive and focus on the things I have a modicum of control over. It’s a daily battle, but I’ve found several distinct strategies (politically-focused and otherwise) that have allowed me to get things done, and keep my sanity. There will never be a one-size-fits-all solution for mental health in a time of national crisis, but these are my most effective strategies for mitigating the damage that crisis can do.
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