After taking a bite of toast this morning and noticing the indentation left by my teeth resembled the lumpy gullet of our President, I knew it was time for a change. I needed a break from politics! But how? I can’t even admire myself in a Snap filter anymore without six-degrees-of-Kevin-Baconing my way back to the dumpster fire of our current political landscape. Well, I finally gave it some thought and compiled the below list of surefire ways you can give your mind some real relief! I dare you to make these political!
1. Head to the gym for a workout
The mood-lifting benefits of endorphin production are well-researched, as is the importance of physical health during times of stress. Head to the gym to break a sweat and release pent-up tension. When a fellow gym-goer calls you out for wearing New Balance sneakers and Under Armour shorts because both brands have endorsed Donald Trump, immediately leave the gym. Swear off fitness for a bit and call your mom to see if she wants to hang out instead.
2. Cook a wholesome meal with your family
Surround yourself with the people who have known you the longest. Work together to a prepare a recipe that will not only keep your hands and minds busy, but result in a meal you can enjoy together. Casually mention that you love spicy food, thus inciting a chain reaction of subtle comments that result in an all-out brawl about immigration policy with your dad. Bail immediately and look up movie times.
3. Go see the newest fantasy movie
The theater is famous for its ability to transport. Clear an afternoon and give your brain a little vacation by going to see a movie, preferably one set in a fantastical universe that’s not our own. As soon as you inevitably start to draw terrifying parallels between the antagonist and someone in our current government, sprint out of the theater and begin to dry heave in the parking lot of your local mall.
4. Treat yourself to something new
Retail therapy, when wielded responsibly, has undeniable potential to lift your spirits and remind you — just for a moment — of a version of yourself that’s less mired in current events. When you continue to run into tote bags and shirts and mugs that commodify your political beliefs and are thus thrust into an internal debate about whether that’s progressive or offensive, begin to maniacally laugh with a crazy look in your eye and then run out into the sunlight to avoid making eye contact with the sales clerks.
5. Surround yourself with nature
Nature has an incredible ability to quiet the mind and regulate the breath. Give yourself ample opportunity to pause the cadence of stimulation afforded by your day-to-day. Take a walk, soak in the views, marvel at Earth’s beauty. When this reminds you of the environment and its imminent demise — and you spot a turtle that resembles Mitch McConnell — begin to sweat profusely, find a nearby service road down which you can walk, possibly endangering your own life and pull out your phone for a much-needed technology break.
6. Look at a cute cat’s Instagram
Animals are unable to speak and therefore can’t lie, harbor no ulterior motives. They just want to be cared for in the most basic sense and have a refreshing innocence about them that will surely be a welcome departure from the characters your read in the news. As soon as you see that the cat’s owner has brushed its hair, created a toupee and placed it on their cat’s head to #trumptheircat, throw your phone in the nearest river and run into traffic to flag a ride home from literally any shady character who will offer one.
7. Make some time for yourself at home to just shut off
It’s critical that you find space and time in your home and in your mind to be calm and at peace with yourself. If that means sitting in your bed with snacks and an old Beatles record, so be it. Self care is self care. But as soon as those Cheeto fingers anthropomorphize into Trump-colored Mike Pences, shut your eyes to avoid seeing, possibly forever, and dramatically drop to the floor. Feel your heart beat through that one vein in your neck. Roll around with abandon.
8. Hide under your bed
Just get under your bed and don’t come out. Ever.
Photo by Win McNamee via Getty Images.