Tips for Post Election Survival

In mental illness-speak, this has been sort of a bipolar week. There are those who are elated and a bit manic because of the election results in the US, while others are feeling depressed. McCain and Obama supporters have invested themselves fully in their candidates and have each fought the good fight. But now the fighting is over and we need to lay the gloves down.

Just as with any personal life experience, it is appropriate to allow ourselves to “feel” the true emotions that surround this event—whether that be a time to grieve and maybe fear a bit or open a bottle of champagne and heave a sigh of relief. Either way, after the initial surge of emotion is over, it’s time to let our intellects take over and behave with grace and dignity. If your guy didn’t win, don’t pout and spout gloom and doom. If your guy won, don’t gloat and puff up with arrogance and glee in front of your opposite-aisle friends.

As Americans, one and all, it’s time to suck it up and come together. Find common ground, look for ways to bridge the political gaps and when issues cause a vast divide, stand firm in your convictions, while being polite and kind to those on the other side of the canyon.

The fact is that we the citizens of this (albeit flawed) democratic country elected Barack Obama as our new leader. A number of well-known actors and singers claimed that they would move out of the United States when George W. Bush was re-elected in 2004. That appears to have been an empty threat on par with a toddler’s tantrum. None of us needs to behave badly over the results of this election; empty threats of moving away, Obama bashing or boycotting all news media, blah, blah, blah. None of that will change the facts or make our country better.

We live in a wonderful place, full of endless opportunities and freedom others only dream about. As Americans we need to huddle up and rally…we’re all on the same team, and we especially need to pray for our new “captain!” (Consider joining the Presidential Prayer Team http://www.presidentialprayerteam.org/site/PageServer?pagename=ppt_whypray )

When all else fails, talk about sports, Dancing with the Stars, new movies or books you’ve read…restaurants, recipes or fishing. There is life after politics, ya know?

Are you celebrating, mourning or moving on?
Diane Markins

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