How to Resist Trump Without Losing Your Mind

Whether you voted for Donald Trump or not, it’s our job as citizens to hold him accountable for his actions. And in his first week as President, he and his administration have done a lot. Here’s a partial list:

As if all that wasn’t enough, the Washington Post reported, ”Republicans are readying plans to roll back the influence of the Endangered Species Act, one of the government’s most powerful conservation tools.”

Oh, and let’s not forget, Trump also lied to the American public about how many people attended his inauguration, which leads one to legitimately question what else he’s lying about, or what he might lie about next.

As Charlie Brown would say, “Good grief.”

For many, that’s quite an overwhelming list.

Reader’s Digest says, “Action is the antidote to feeling overwhelmed.” But with so much to take action about, where do you begin? It’s…overwhelming!

Feeling overwhelmed can lead to anxiety, and anxiety can lead to depression. And we don’t want that.

Yes, with all that’s going on in our country, it’s important to take action. Democracy is not a spectator sport, after all. And we should all be the change we wish to see in the world.

But while those expressions make for great bumper stickers, let’s be honest with ourselves: We all have our limits, and that’s quite a hefty list.

So how do you move forward and take effective action without losing your mind? Here are some suggestions:

1) Pace Yourself

This is a marathon, not a sprint. And four years is a long time. So while it’s important to act as swiftly as possible in response to the things you care about most, if you work so hard that you burn out, you’ll be less productive in the long run.

2) Pick Your Battles

If you’re like many, there are lots of things you care about that are under threat by the new administration. You may be equally concerned about the environment and wildlife, for instance. So should you focus your efforts on the pipelines or the Endangered Species Act?

Taking action on one issue does not mean that you don’t also care about other issues.

I’m not suggesting that you have to pick one over the other. What I am saying is that if you spread yourself too thin, you run the risk of being less effective overall.

So try this: Make a list of everything you care about that you believe is under threat, and figure out a plan that works for you so you can give each of them the proper amount of your attention that you feel they deserve.

3) Know That You Are Not Alone

It’s natural to feel powerless when so many things you care about are being threatened at the same time. Know that you’re not alone and take solace in the fact that there are others who feel similarly. There is strength in numbers.

4) Step Outside Your Comfort Zone

One of the Greenpeace activists who scaled the giant crane behind the White House to unfurl the “RESIST” banner is afraid of heights. But she did it anyway.

Her name is Karen Topakian and she’s the 62 year-old environmental group’s board chairman. “I have a long, long history of fear of heights,” she said. “As much as I have a fear of heights, I decided that I would do this because the risks are so great and so tremendous at this point with this administration.”

I’m not suggesting you scale the next 270-foot crane you stumble across to unfurl a banner. What I am saying is—outside your comfort zone is often where the magic happens. And we need all the magic we can get right about now.

5) Go Easy On Yourself

Why bother beating yourself up for not doing enough or not focusing on the right issue, when there is virtually an infinite amount of work to be done on a wide range of issues? That sort of thinking is not helpful to you or the world.

6) Focus On Facts, Not Rhetoric

Fake news. Rhetoric. Whatever you call it, just because someone says something is true does not make it so.

The dictionary defines the word “fact” as: “A thing that is known or proved to be true.” So as you go about formulating your opinions, stick to the facts.

You might start with ProPublica, “journalism in the public interest.”

7) Support Those You Trust

Whichever groups you trust, it’s important to support them in whatever ways you can. Share their content, attend events and, yes, donate money, if you’re able to.

Losing federal funding is a real possibility for many groups, so these days your donations may be more important than ever.

8) Make A List & Use It Often

Create a list with your elected official’s contact info so you have it when you need it. Common Cause can help.

9) Log On In Moderation

Hop online and it may not take long for you to end up feeling defeated. Call it the nature of the beast.

My suggestion: Limit yourself to how often you log on, and how much time you spend online. Your mind will thank you.

And lastly…

10) Make A Plan

What do I mean by a “Plan”? Here’s a little story to demonstrate:

Last week on the way home from the Women’s March in San Francisco, I crammed onto the T train to head home. It was standing-room-only packed and so hard to move that I could barely lift an arm to brace myself.

I was standing near the door when I heard one woman back by the seats say to another next to her, “My friend needs to get off at the next stop.” I saw that the friend she was referring to is handicapped and had a walker. “No problem” the woman responded.

But there were so many people between the handicapped woman and the door. Just telling the woman next to them wasn’t going to slice it. Everyone between them and the door needed to know. Otherwise come next stop, there’s no way they’re getting off that train in time. There were just too many people in their way.

What happened next was…moving. I passed on what I heard to the folks around me, and so did they, and the next, until everyone from the friend to the door knew exactly what needed to be done when the train stopped. We all needed to temporarily get off of the train, and trust each other enough to let each other back on the train in some semblance of order, before: 1) new people seeking to board took our spots and 2) the train took off.

Here’s what happened: The train stopped, the doors opened, and like a well-choreographed ballet we executed our plan perfectly. When the doors first opened, you could see lots of eager new eyes looking to pounce their way to a spot on ‘our’ train, but as soon as it became clear what we were doing, they too joined our movement by…not moving.

On the train ride home, I thought about the significance of this moment. WE were all on that train together. WE (total strangers) recognized a need of one our own. WE felt a shared responsibility for her wellbeing and safety. And so WE came up with a simple plan, communicated it to each other, and then executed it. There was respect, there was trust and, I believe, a shared understanding that if that one woman didn’t make it off the train, we all lost.

The plan wouldn’t work unless virtually everyone in that pathway bought in. But WE did. It ended up being quite bonding and we shared a brief moment of appreciation after our success.

After last week’s Marches, “What now?” is on lots of people’s minds . But we need more than strength in numbers at this point. We need a plan. Because the new administration has a plan. Lots of them, and as you can see from the list above, they’re already being executed.

So what’s your plan? Why not find your people and come up with one.

Photo Credit: Thinkstock

134 comments

Siyus C
Siyus Copetallus4 months ago

Thank you for sharing!

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Marie W
Marie W5 months ago

Thank you for posting!

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heather g
heather g7 months ago

Don't let your guard down - let's all stand up for our rights and the rights of all human beings......

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George L
George L7 months ago

tyfs

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ERIKA S
ERIKA S7 months ago

noted

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Rhoberta E
Rhoberta E7 months ago

Brian f
You speaking of bigger crowds only makes you sound just like trump. Seek help

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Brian F
Brian F7 months ago

The Hillary supporters are to blame for Trump's victory because they supported a crook and liar, Hillary and refused to support Bernie Sanders, a true progressive. Bernie Sanders had much bigger crowds than Hillary, and would have beat Trump.

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ERIKA S
ERIKA S7 months ago

noted

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Mary B
Mary B7 months ago

The article was about how to resist Trump with out going crazy. Start by not repeating all the same old arguments. This too will PASS. He's already made a lot of mistakes and there are a lot of lawyers finding out how to tighten the noose he's put around his own neck. The man and his white nationalists cabinet picks and their agenda is hated by people all over the world. Those who voted for him voted for the repubs usual party platform and there simply will be no forgivness for them since they knew those policies would harm others. You just don't forget or forgive ill will and evil so don't punish yourself for not being able too. Don't waste your time going crazy. Do what you can to help when you are moved by your heart. Do not put yourself in danger. As much as possible get on with your life. The fools and creeps will stick together once they realize their smugness is just inviting a fist in the face.

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JD S
JD She7 months ago

Noted

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