7 Ways to Get Through the Trump Presidency

Guest writer Samantha Taylor identifies coping mechanisms and actions she’ll be taking over the next four years
Published on 01/31/2017 at 9:41 AM EDT

I generally consider myself an optimistic, “glass-half-full” gal. I’m usually smiling and genuinely happy. The receptionist at the pediatrician’s office once told me I was the most cheerful person she ever spoke to on the phone. I revel in that. I love it. What I don’t love is this feeling I’ve had for the past two months – a combination of grief and despair. For the first few weeks after the election I decided that watching the news was too painful, so I didn’t. This was beyond disappointment over Hillary Clinton’s loss of the election. I’ve voted for more candidates who have lost than ones who have won; I can handle that. This was serious concern about Donald Trump’s ability to lead this nation, and fear about the kind of leadership he might bring along with him. At that time, I had decided that it would be best for me to stick my head in the sand and do absolutely nothing. That all changed for me on January 20th.

From the moment Trump (we refer to him in my house as “he who must not be named”) took office, I realized that ignoring him wasn’t going to be possible. What I needed were ways to cope with the reality of Trump as the American President over the next four years. So far, I’ve come up with a list of 7:

  1. Be informed. I won’t bury my head in the sand. I’m going to make sure that any news I consume online or on television comes from sources I’ve found to be the most reliable. As painful as it might be, I’m not doing my duty as a citizen if I ignore what’s happening and pretend that everything is OK.
  2. Be active. I will march. I will donate money. I will call Senators, write letters to Congress,  do whatever I can, however small it may seem, to help the cause. We’ve already seen how demonstrations are affecting change.
  3. Surround myself with like-minded people. I have plenty of conservative and libertarian friends. I still plan on socializing with them. I just mean I cannot be around the hate that some of those friends bring with them to every conversation. It absolutely drains me. When selecting who I will spend time with, my first priority will be to choose people who bring love and happiness into the world and not those who frustrate and exhaust me.
  4. Be responsible on social media. I will not be obnoxious. I will not share anything that doesn’t come from a reliable media source. There’s fake news on both sides of the fence, and I won’t be guilty of perpetuating it. I will try to only engage in discussions that are informational. Recently a Facebook friend posted something that was wrong and disrespectful. After I commented, calmly explaining the facts and my position, he removed the post. If I had come across angry and confrontational, he might have become defensive instead.
  5. Support the arts. I’m going to attend more concerts, and go to the theater and the movies more. Besides being a welcome distraction, the arts will need our support now more than ever.
  6. Embrace the humor. If I don’t laugh at this absurdity, I will cry. I subscribed to Andy Borowitz’s column. I watch Saturday Night Live. Laughter is so very important.
  7. Don’t fall for the gas lighting and the distractions. Stay focused on the issues that matter. The more I watch the news, the more I find myself fixated on a tweet or a ridiculous comment he makes, when I should be focused on the executive orders and the overall picture. I’m going to try to keep my eye on the ball.

Right now, my political cup may actually be half empty, or even totally empty. But I’m not letting that stop me from being my happy, positive self. Some days will be harder than others, but we’ll get through this if we stick together. So far, that’s the one thing that I can acknowledge Trump has done that’s positive, even if it was not his intention to do so: he has united those of us who oppose him. If nothing else, we can thank him for that.

How are you getting through the next four years? I know I could use some more tips, so share them here.

Samantha Taylor is a wife and mother of three kids, one with special needs. After working for non-profits for several years, Samantha now works in for the family business, publishing local lifestyle magazines in central Florida. In her free time she enjoys cheering for her beloved Florida Gators, sharing her love of old movies with her children, and blogging for and GrokNation.

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