Every woman I know is freaking out. I could be saying that any day of this presidency, right? But specifically I’m talking about the day when Joe Arpaio’s right-hand woman is going to cross-examine Dr. Christine Blasey Ford, and we might be subjected to an untold number of triggering sex crimes-slash-hijinks prep school tales.
No one’s ready for this kind of thing, but here are some tips to get through the day. You can use this advice on other days, but I strongly advise you do one or more of these today:
- Tune out. Do not watch the hearings or the news, and do not visit the websites of any reliable or even unreliable media outlet you have bookmarked. It’s okay to ignore the news every now and then. It doesn’t make you a bad person who’s hiding from the truth; it makes you a sane and healthy person who can set boundaries for your own health.
- Get off Facebook and Twitter. Twitter is a hyper-speed news crawler on the bottom of your life, bearing only sad stories, bad news and Florida Man jokes. Facebook can be great for solidarity, but it’s also a town square for other survivors to come share, and just like the advice above, it’s okay to not listen every now and then. You don’t have to bear witness to everyone’s pain.
- Get on Instagram. If you need to be on social media under these circumstances, I strongly recommend Instagram. You can make fun of the celebrities and the food porn, if you like, but IG is mostly people trying to find beauty in this world, and sharing it. It’s nice to get lost in beauty sometimes.
- Try something new. But not dangerous. I mean, start watching The Crown, or the new Queer Eye, or reading comic books, or cookbooks. Don’t start knitting (if you don’t already) or skydiving. The idea here is to engage yourself enough to be distracted, but not in a way where you might have to make a mistake.
- Do something old. If you follow me on Instagram, you may know that I started sewing lately, which is weird, I admit. I’ve never sewed clothes before, but I did start making quilts during a very stressful time in my life during law school. Sewing takes exactly the right amount of paying attention and not paying attention, with a defined product at the end to feel satisfying. So find that thing you already know how to do, and do it.
- Plan a vacation. It doesn’t really matter if you have the time or money right now, it’s okay to do the research. Make a list of five things you’d like to see if Japan and figure out the best time to visit. Maybe it’s the fall, and you could plan to do it next year. I guarantee that endorphins will be released just by looking at websites about your chosen destination.
- Plan anything. Maybe (probably) you have to be at work. Bummer, right? Hard to avoid reality when you are at the office. Now would actually be a good day to sketch out a project you’ve always sort of maybe wanted to do at work. Do a SWOT analysis, or write a business case for it. If there’s absolutely nothing that inspires you at work, sneak in a little career planning today. Stretch your brain a little into a new place, and the outside world might stay out for a little while.
Good luck getting through the day, and if you are personally dealing with trauma or its aftermath, I wish you all the love and strength you need. At least you aren’t being cross-examined by Kamala Harris, and hopefully Brett Kavanaugh is!