How to Process Communal Disbelief and Shock

Something terrible has happened. Everyone is upset. What now?

Let's start by trying to find perspective. Ask yourself these questions:

election fear pain

What can you change?

Remember: You have an extremely limited ability to affect change regarding what's happened. You have a limitless capacity to worry. Identify what you can and can't change, then create your own personal lines of engagement. Stick with what you can change. Let go of the rest.

Who do you need to protect?

Who I care about most.

Who I care about most.

  • If you have a child, it's up to you to protect them from the pain you're feeling and adult perspective you have. This means using tactics to help protect your own mental health in order to protect theirs.
  • At times of crisis, focus on the people you care about most in order to refocus yourself on something positive and good.

Otherwise, who wins?

Do not let racism, misogyny, and ignorance indirectly affect you by thinking about them all the time. Refocusing is crucial for your mental health.

What your actions looks like, tactically.

Election results pain suffering


As much as needed, but in safe places. In person venting is ideal. Be creative when you can--make yourself and others laugh through the pain.

Find Mental Distance.

Remember when you were young, and politics was at best an afterthought? Did you have a period like that in your life?

Go back to it.

Take a long view. 

What would a 90 year-old say?

What would a 90 year-old say?

Avoid the news and social media as much as possible.

It can't actually help right now.

Send positivity to others and feel connected to them.

Smiles from the members of Facebook group Pantsuit Nation.

Smiles from the members of Facebook group Pantsuit Nation.

This morning I smiled at every non-white face I saw. Because if it's hard to be me this morning, it's even harder to be them. Imagine feeling directly targeted. Protect your fellow citizens by sending them positive feelings and feeling them in return.

I'm writing this because I'm working to process it myself. Attempting to cobble together tactics helps me find a way to help protect myself at a difficult time. I would love to hear what's working for others in the upcoming days and weeks. Share here in comments or in Bevoya Haus.