Post-Electoral Return to the Body

It’s the day after the election, and we only know one thing with complete certainty at this point: half the country disagrees with us (whichever side you are on), and this other half seems utterly unknowable.

Probably like many people, for the past several days, I found I really didn’t feel like doing much of anything other than sort of waiting for this to pass. This included exercise and mindfulness practices, which I kind of let slide for a bit. It seems like whenever one thing goes, all good practices do. So I was definitely having wine and cookies last night, binging Netflix to avoid the internet.

But I didn’t really beat myself up about the sliding. It felt like the thing to do in the moment. I read this article which I thought was kind of perfect, fully endorsing a good flipping of one’s shit:

Sometimes, one just wants to have a tantrum and not do any of the things they “should.” I didn’t go full on floor screaming, though it’s not off the table yet. Actually, I had a rolling around on the floor meltdown a few months ago, in agony over some unrelated parental suffering. It was amazingly cathartic and I highly recommend you try it, either in this election season or in general. My shrink, too, fully endorses this kind of Big Ugly Cry. Not the little tears streaming thing, but the full on unglamorous runny nose red-faced heaving sort.

When I woke up this morning, there was still no resolution, and definitely not an overwhelming sense things would be ok. And yet, I decided I had had my indulgent binging and sloth, and whatever happens next, it’s time to get back to healthy practice. So even though I didn’t feel like it, I did morning qi gong before work. And even though it felt a bit like going through the motions, there were still moments of deep breathing when I remembered why we do these mindfulness and embodying practices, and how good they feel. And that regardless of disappointment and agony, we get through by staying in our bodies and not living in our heads. 

Whatever happens next, keep breathing, ya’ll.


Qi Gong is Meditation in Motion

Front Row Seat to a Panic Attack

Anxiety and Insomnia While the World Burns

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