I don’t care who you are or what box you marked on your election ballot, I think it’s safe to say that we’re all war torn and weakened by this election season. And for us younger generations, the subsequent dissent is unlike what we’ve ever seen or felt before. It doesn’t help that it doesn’t look like it’s ending any time soon…
This sort of heavy atmosphere weighs hard on our wellbeing. The stress of our own intense opinions mixed with the constant noise and vibration from the world is a lot to handle. And, because of this, it seems our search for comfort food and outside soothers is at an all time high. Here are two, very simple examples I, personally, saw this past week:
- I pulled a muscle in my back and finally broke down and decided to book a massage. (self-care is hard for me too, sometimes) I called Saturday morning, and asked for an appointment. Almost as if she couldn’t believe it herself, she said, “I’m so sorry. We’re actually booked up through next week.” After a google click mess, and a few more unsuccessful attempts at appointments, I finally found an eastern body-work office in midtown with good yelp reviews and an open time-slot. I made my appointment and was on my way. During the massage, I could hear the protesters outside the window as they marched the lengths of Manhattan streets. Outside the door of my private room, I heard the voice of another masseuse say, “I’ve been busier this week than any other this year," she said. "I honestly think it might be the election.”
- Our corner coffee shop is a hit-or-miss kind of place. The kind of place you love for just that reason. Chatty baristas sometimes forget your order, the food is good, but slow to come, and the colorful cast of characters keeps things interesting. Our friend behind the counter put last week’s carb intake into poignant perspective – “We seriously never sell out of bagels. On our busiest, most hung-over Sunday, we’ll get low, but we never run out. Wednesday after the election, we sold out in just under 2 hours.
That's real folks. Point being: we’re tired. We’re looking for rest for our bodies and happy feels from our foods. I get it. It’s natural and it’s real. And, believe it or not, I think it’s healthy.
I think a lot of other things going on are healthy, too. Protesting is healthy. Voicing your opinion, whatever it may be, is healthy. Finding comfort is healthy.
Take care of yourself. Find quiet time. Turn off your devices, maybe for the first time ever, outside of being on an airplane. Shut out the noise of the world for a little while. Calm down your nervous system and intentionally relax every muscle in your body. Shut. Down.
And then, when you’re ready and you power all those devices back up, remember that silence is never very far away.