For those of us in the US, this is going to be a nail-biter of a week.
This moment is bringing back memories of four years ago. On election night 2016, my partner and I went to see Ani DiFranco perform, and essentially celebrated a Hillary victory alongside her. Despite all our wishful thinking, however, the next morning we woke up to news that hit me like a knife to the heart. I walked around in a daze for the next week, guzzling rose glycerite like it was water to try to heal that feeling in my heart.
This time around I don’t want to be blindsided, so I’m preparing myself for the weeks that lie ahead. Weeks in which we probably won’t have any clear answers, but most likely a lot of volatility. Having a plan to keep ourselves nourished and balanced during times like these are key, since it’s hard to make good choices when you’re in the middle of it. To that end, here are six of my top tips for surviving November.
Turn off the News (and that includes Facebook).
Now I don’t mean tune out completely, but it doesn’t help anyone to be glued to the corporate news ticker, especially since we may not know anything for weeks. Keep yourself informed, but resist the urge to check the news or your Facebook feed obsessively (unless you’re using it for organizing, of course). This is ESPECIALLY true before bed. I recently added the app BlockSite to my phone to block Facebook and it’s been life changing.
Make a Meal Plan.
When we’re stressed it becomes real tempting to indulge in those comfort foods that can leave you feeling gross later on. It’s a vicious cycle that can result in you feeling bad about yourself and even more stressed and irritable than before. Now, don’t get me wrong. If you need to order a pizza because you can’t even face the kitchen, no judgement here — we all need nights like this. But try to plan some nourishing and comforting meals that are super easy so that it doesn’t happen every night. Crock pots and casseroles shine here — I’m planning to make this turkey chili on Tuesday, for example.
I know it’s freaking cold out there, but here in the northeast we’re actually getting a little warm up later this week. AND there’s a loveliness to stick season that often gets ignored. When all the leaves drop, you can see the mountains better, after all. It’s a great reminder, really, that in the ending of cycles there is also beauty, as well as the promise of future growth. Make it a plan to get outside at least once per day, setting a reminder on your phone if it helps. Breathe in some forest air if you have access to it (pinene has been shown to be uplifting, and exists abundantly in conifers as well as cannabis).
Remember that community care is self care, too.
Call and check on your friends, families, and neighbors. Consider your capacity to get involved in any organizing or events happening in your community — like a Protect the Results event — and act in ways that feel aligned. Does your polling place still need volunteers? Are you in pod with anyone that could use extra child care or other support this week? And do YOU need extra support that your community can provide? This is part of what’s called co-regulation, a piece that’s often missing from hyper-individualistic conversations around “self care.”
Have a Parliament Funkadelic dance party in your kitchen. Smoke a bowl and watch the new Supermarket Sweep with Leslie Jones, or any dumb movie that makes you belly laugh. Wear your Halloween costume even though its not Halloween anymore. Swap knock-knock jokes with a five year old. Joy is good medicine.
Call on the Plant Allies.
Plants that help support our nervous system, sleep, and adrenals will be key in the weeks ahead. Nervines like Skullcap or Rose help to nourish and calm a frazzled nervous system, while Rose also serves to gently support an aching heart. Herbal sedatives like Chamomile or Hops can help us get a restful night’s sleep despite the worries of the day. And adaptogens like Tulsi or Ashwagandha help to support our adrenals to have sustained energy and resilience in the face of stress. And of course, mindfully using Cannabis — especially cannabidiol-rich hemp varieties — can also go a long way in generating a sense of balance or homeostasis, which is something we could all use a little (or a lot) more of in these turbulent times.
I believe in the power of plants to help us not only weather the storms of life more gracefully but to also help us have the strength and capacity to create a more just, sustainable, and magical world. It’s why I created my recently relaunched line of hemp-infused herbal elixirs and essences, available now in the shop – that utilize many of the herbs mentioned above. Head here to check out the offerings, and use code WEGOTTHIS for 10% off your order this week only.
We got this. Don’t forget that. Especially when things seem dark and we are face to face with the unknown, if we commit to showing up fully in our selves and our communities (both plant and human), then we have actually already succeeded in creating the world we want.