Regardless of the November election outcome, there is going to be a huge group of people feeling angry, hurt and perhaps depressed. This is assuming the results are considered legitimate and one of the candidates acquiesces to the other. We know this could go on for weeks, weeks…

The phrase “have a plan” has been circulating around this election cycle in regard to having a plan to vote – it may be time to “have a plan” for the results. Be proactive. Time to start thinking through things you will do after the election to best cope with whomever our country decides to put in office.

This post comes inspired after a family discussion at dinner the other night about “having a plan” if our party should “lose” – how we can be proactive in handling the results.

I, and many others, found ourselves ill-equipped to handle the feelings we experienced following the 2016 election. In addition, this election is also having an impact on my three teenage daughters and many of their friends. They are engaged, paying attention, have strong opinions and wishes for this election. Although few of them can vote, they are invested.

Even in “good times” election cycles can feel noisy, divisive, loud.

2020 has been unlike any other year, right?

Many of us would not describe our country in “good” times – maybe more like transformative times.  Transformative into what? This is a question mark. We know and can feel we are “in” it – but time will tell where we land.

Each family/person has coping strategies unique to what fill them up and now is the time to get your creative juices flowing!

To help get you started,  here are some things we came up with to help us move forward “win” or “lose” in just a couple weeks:

Social Media & Network News Pause

Win or lose, our family has decided to:

Take a social media break for two weeks following the election to give our nation’s and personal collective emotions time to cool a bit.

To hold space and grace for others and how they will be processing their experience. Respect it – it is personal.

In addition to a social media pause, we will turn off network news, be sad/happy, cry/laugh, talk, be angry – feel all the feels.  We will process in private. The processing may be similar in some ways when a family suffers a loss– you grieve – in private – with the people you love and trust. We will hold space for one another.

Focus on Home and Comfort

I have committed to having good food, meals and snacks ready – comfort food – we will bake –  we will put up our Christmas Tree – listen to Christmas music – we will make Christmas gifts – fill out Christmas Cards – we will start watching Christmas movies.

We will enjoy hot chocolate.

We will sit by our fireplace and play games.

We will write our Senators and House of Representatives and share our thoughts, feelings and wishes for our country moving forward.

We will request family members whom voted for the other party refrain from engaging us in conversation, for now. Give us space.

We will create art.

We will sleep more, rest more.

We have invited friends that are life-giving over to our home already, now, to be together for dinner.

We have made a two-week calendar and scheduled activities centered around home – bonfires, outdoor movies, binge watching old movies (Harry Potter, Star Wars, High School Musical), revisiting some of our favorite childhood Pixar and Disney movies, spend time outdoors, learn how to make homemade soy candles and ride bikes at our art museum.

We will daily give thanks for all we are grateful for.

We will journal.

We will light candles of hope.

We will host a gathering of hope at our home with friends/family grieving or celebrating to show love and light and support for our country’s future.

We will commit to volunteering in organizations or in ways that reflect our hopes and wishes for our country.

We will continue to explore the idea of leaving the United States to live abroad. This is a tough one for our family. I have a hard time even typing it, but in the spirit of transparency and honesty this is a conversation in our home with our teenagers lately.

We will read the words of Martin Luther King Jr and explore ideas of nonviolent activism and how that will look in our home.

We will choose love.

The election is around the corner. Being ahead of the outcome, may be one way to help us move forward.

Be proactive. Brainstorm and make your plans now. Talk to the people you love and come up with your plan on how you want to handle this November’s election.

Gather all supplies NOW so they are ready to roll the day after election.

Being ready is a key step – don’t wait until you are in it – have everything ready to roll!

Even if your party “wins” or the election is not having as much of an impact on you, many of these activities are awesome and something to enjoy during the cooler months and isolation of the pandemic and the end of year holidays you may celebrate.

Much love and light to you all.

Here is a song my beautiful brother-in-law sent to me – a most hopeful anthem called “Love Will Find A Way” by Mike Love & artists.

Until next time, RockonLIVING friends!