1. You’ve probably voted. Have you voted? Go vote.
  2. Realize we likely won’t have a confirmed outcome for days, maybe weeks. (See Vote Save America’s guide for what to expect.)
  3. Have you given all the money, banked all the phones, mailed all the postcards, waved all the signs, talked to all the people? Are you a lawyer? Because We The Action still needs you to help protect the vote.
  4. Check on your friends, especially those most at-risk, find out what they need and how you can support them. (Here’s a list of 44 mental health resources for Black people.) Make sure everyone, including you, has enough food, water, toilet paper, warm blankets.
  5. The work of creating a more just and healthy world will not end. Nonetheless, take a breath, look away from the news and social media for a minute. Try this: Do not read, watch or listen to anything political unless you have a corresponding action to take. (Also, you don’t need to add to the madness.) (Alternatively, if you’re determined to stay glommed to your screen Election Day/Night, Anna Borges has you covered.)
  6. Here is an action: Have you set up recurring monthly donations to human rights and environmental organizations? Even $5 per month adds up, and these kind of contributions help nonprofits maintain a steady cash flow. Throwing money at groups effectively working to solve problems is one of the very best ways to solve a problem. (Need suggestions? Ask in the comments and I’ll provide.)
  7. If you live somewhere you can go outside, do.
  8. If you can go outside, invite a friend for a pandemic-friendly walk, hike, kayak, run, bike ride, whatever fills your bucket.
  9. If you can’t go outside, Yoga With Adriene offers many any-level yogic responses to the complicated emotions you may be feeling. (What about “Yoga For When You Feel Dead Inside”? Of course. For anxiety? Yes.)
  10. Call a faraway friend you miss.
  11. Fill the hours with nonpolitical podcasts (some of my faves listed below), music sure to make you dance or rock out or sing along or all of the above, sweet and funny shows, books that keep you turning the pages to find out what happens next – in short, weave together a cocoon of entertainment that will make you happier for the indulging it. (Again, if unplugging from the election sounds impossible, I recommend Anna Borges’s Election Night suggestions.)
  12. Similarly, if getting wasted is in your plans, I’m not judging – never would I judge you for that! – but if you need a nudge to address your stress in ways that won’t leave you full of regret in the morning, consider this that.
  13. Inoculate yourself against hopelessness by making a list of the people (and the pets!) you’re grateful to have in your life and/or in the world. Write a few reasons why you appreciate them. (Yes, this is cliché, but our righteous rage at the wrongs in the world sometimes blinds us to the good – and we need clear eyes and full hearts here.)

Further reading: You’re Waiting For Election Results. It’s Agony. Here’s What to Do.

Other suggestions? Leave a comment. Stay safe out there.

Some non-political podcasts I love:

Snap Judgment – “The Snap Judgment radio show and podcast mixes real stories with killer beats to produce cinematic, dramatic, kick-ass radio. Snap’s raw, musical brand of storytelling dares listeners to see the world through the eyes of another.” Recommended episode: “Skydiving”

The Moth – Storytelling! Extremely compelling, extremely human. Recommended episode: All of them.

Heavyweight – “Jonathan Goldstein goes back to the moment everything changed.” Recommended episode: “Joey”

Everything is Alive – Exactly what it sounds like. Recommended episode: “Louis, Can of Cola”

This is Uncomfortable – “A show about life and how money messes with it. Each week, Reema Khrais digs in with stories about the unanticipated ways money affects relationships, shapes identities and often defines what it means to be an adult.” Recommended episode: “Why Don’t You Fix Your Teeth?”