More's the { self } pity

This past week has undone me. I am really sad, anxious, depressed, angry, numb. I'm in a stupor of misery. It's like the end of a relationship or a death but without the good memories to soften the blow.

You don't need an election to feel this way, of course. We can all fall into a funk in a heartbeat, even without a clear reason.

But after a while, it gets boring. So here's what I've done since Wednesday to restore myself:

1. I fasted. No, not from food. The non-stop news. After a while, post mortems weren't giving me the informational nutrition I needed, so I just stopped listening to the punditry. I thought my own thoughts and tried to find clarity in my own mind without getting lost in the noise.

2. I worked out. Never underestimate the power of endorphins. You may not change the world from the barre, but if you can do one more minute of plank or hold a position longer than the day before, that's an accomplishment. Celebrate it. Plus class companionship is good for the spirit.

3. I kept working. I have to do something creative everyday and thankfully deadlines concentrated my mind. When clients are waiting for copy, you can't keep taking exit poll breaks. You've got to stay focused on what you can control.

4. I did my homework. I've been taking Spanish classes since September--in part to stave off dementia and in part to piss off a certain president-elect. Conjugating verbs and composing simple, declarative sentences has been a happy distraction.

5. I'm fighting back. Becoming an ex-pat is not an option. So I'm re-evaluating the causes and organizations I support and deciding where I can do the most good over the next four years.

6. I counted my blessings. I have resources. I have health. An apartment I love with three wonderful companion animals. Good friends. Suerte (luck), as they say. Whenever I get too much in my own head, I remind myself how lucky I am and thank the universe. I think of ways to pay it forward.

Whether it's political or personal, it's OK--desirable even--to give into self-pity. But not for too long. You're entitled to indulge in tears and comfort food, but eventually you have to get up and get going. You owe it to the world. And to your { self }.

What steps are you taking to move forward? Tell us in the comments below or on our Facebook page. 

VULNERABILITY IS POWERFUL

In your wildest dreams, did you ever think that sexual assault would be an issue in the 2016 presidential campaign? Me either. Yet, here we are.

But just when you think the story can’t get  any stranger (or “deplorable,” to use the word du jour) there comes a revelatory moment that changes your whole perspective.

In a roundtable convo on MSNBC’s Lawrence O’Donnell show, Ana Marie Cox observed, “the fear of seeming vulnerable keeps us broken. It takes strength to reach out and ask for help.” She was talking, of course, about the People reporter whose story of the republican’s nominee’s boorish behavior had broken that day. She was attempting to explain why women don’t come forward and bear witness. That the fear of being seen or judged as vulnerable somehow made them seem weak in their own or others’ eyes. So they swallow their pain and do what they can to move on.

Of course, as we’ve all learned in our own lives in all sorts of circumstance, you can’t move on unless you identify the source of your distress (whatever it is) and deal with it honestly, courageously and with self-compassion. Sometimes that means speaking up. Or speaking truth to power. Or asking a simple question. Or feeling safe enough to reach out and say, “I can’t do this alone. I’m stuck. Please help me.”

And just like that, what you think is your weakness becomes your strength. By enlarging your circle and bringing help to your side, you start to become your most powerful { self }.