Last night, I, along with millions of other Americans, watched in shock and horror as Donald Trump was elected President of the United States. I am sure you’ve already heard everything that I, as a Democrat who supported Hillary Clinton, have to say about this election – but I’ll say it one more time. I never truly believed that Donald Trump would win the election. I was worried, really worried, but I thought that Hillary Clinton would pull through in the end. I overestimated the people of America, assuming they would turn their back on the man who promoted hatred, bullying, racism, sexism, homophobia, xenophobia, victim blaming, fear, and violence. They did not.
I am not just sad that Donald Trump won and that Republicans took control of everything, I am… disappointed. Scared. Stressed. So anxious I have made myself physically sick. So sad I have cried several times. I feel despondent. I feel so, so low, in a way I almost never feel. I am heartbroken, angry, crushed, defeated – and I know so many of you feel the same way. In times like this, it is easy to feel powerless and hopeless. It’s easy to feel like you want to give up. My job for the past six years has been writing for young women, trying to empower all of you to stand up for yourselves and women. To see Trump win makes me feel like everything I’ve tried to do, as small as it may be, was worthless.
Today is hard. There’s a heavy sadness in the air that even the giddy Trump supporters can’t make go away (at least here in gloomy New York). To be honest, we will probably feel this sad for a few days, maybe longer. But then, like every other horrible situation, we will start to move on, and while it will still be horrible, we’ll be able to feel better. And right now, we need to try to stay positive, because basking in the fear and sadness we feel is not good for any of us.
I recognize that it’s easy for me, a white woman with a full-time job and a lot of privilege, to say these things. I am deeply saddened for minorities and marginalized people, because Trump being president affects them much more negatively than it affects me. I don’t mean to tell anyone they can’t feel sad and angry and let down – you have a right to all of those feelings. I just want people to remember that there are still things to feel happy about, because if we don’t try, we lose even more. So while some of the below events might sound silly and pointless compared to what is happening in America right now, it’s these light-hearted things that might help some of us feel just a little bit better, if even for a few moments. Don’t lose sight of what needs to be done to survive this presidency and don’t forget to fight for what is right, but also remember that self-care is so important right now. With that said, here are some things you can look forward to before 2016 ends and a new era in American history begins. Stay strong, everyone.
2. Leaving behind the most annoying social media period in history.
In the last few months, social media has become almost unbearable. Between the people confidently posting incorrect facts to friends fighting bitterly over differing opinions on statuses to the endless memes that aren’t even that funny, it’s basically been torturous to look at Facebook every day. The next few days are going to be rough while Trump supporters and Clinton supporters continue to go head to head, but soon, things will get more tolerable.
It seems alien to think about being excited to eat food and care about football in only a few short weeks, but hey – Thanksgiving will be here regardless. If you enjoy this holiday, remind yourself of why. And remember: Thanksgiving comes with a much-deserved five day weekend.
3. The feeling of holiday unity and cheer.
Today, it seems even more alien to think about feeling any kind of unity and cheer with fellow Americans. But you know how holiday movies show a lot of misery and sadness, and the end result is that people come together more during Christmas? Maybe real life will mimic that? One can only hope. Either way, it’s hard to completely ignore holiday cheer, and honestly, we need it right now more than ever.
4. The Gilmore Girls revival.
Is the Gilmore Girls revival, a show about two white women dealing with first world problems, important in the grand scheme of things? No, of course not. But what is important is focusing on things that make you feel happy (self-care) and if the Gilmore Girls revival is one of them, then please let yourself get excited for it.
5. A winter break from classes.
If you’re in college, you have another month or so before you get a lengthy winter break, which probably sounds heavenly right now. If you’re in high school, you still get a few days off, which is better than nothing.
6. Gift buying.
Doing something for someone else is a way to feel better about things. The holiday season is a good time to be selfless. Whether you take joy in buying gifts for loved ones, or you want to do something with more of a social impact, there are a lot of opportunities during this time of year. Channel your energy into making others feel good, and you’ll feel good too.
7. Christmas, Hannukah, etc.
The holiday season in general is capable of lifting spirits and bringing at least some light to unhappy times. So… let’s look forward to it, no matter what you celebrate.
8. The feeling that it’s time to change and reinvent ourselves.
You know that feeling you get around the middle of December, when you realize you’re being given a fresh start? It’s refreshing and exciting, and gives you something to look forward to, like a new beginning. Even if you logically know you never keep your resolutions, having the opportunity to change is uplifting, especially now.
9. Buzzfeed listicles on end of the year content.
End of year content is the best content. Let’s bond over how much 2016 sucked.
10. That one YouTube video that mixes all of the best songs together and is always so good.
Music has the power to make you happy. Embrace it.
11. Hot chocolate season.
I think we can all agree that hot chocolate season rivals pumpkin spice season. When you’re feeling down, make a cup of hot chocolate, wrap yourself in a blanket, and hug a cat (or dog, or whatever pet you love). It will make you feel better.
12. Christmas cookies.
The best part of the holiday season – the baked goods. They’re coming!
13. Being able to watch Netflix offline.
Need another excuse to stay in, away from Trump supporters? Netflix is going to make it possible to download and watch movies and shows without Wifi, and it could happen before the end of the year.
14. Seeing your friends and family again if you’re been away at school.
Does this need to be explained?
15. The opportunity we still have to make our voices heard.
Right now, everything feels pretty hopeless, but make no mistake: now more than ever, it’s important to speak up and do everything you can to make your voice heard. If you’re a white person, defend and be there for your POC, LGBTQ, undocumented friends and family members. Practice your right to peacefully protest. Find out how to get involved. Fight for what you believe in. And remember – in four years, we can try to make a difference in the White House again.
How do you feel about the election? Let us know in the comments.