Helping You Help Yourself #38

This will be a fairly short and sweet Helping You Help Yourself because while it’s true that we need to help ourselves and each other more than ever, the ways forward for doing that aren’t long or complicated. We take care of ourselves, and take care of each other; we look for tasks that need doing and do them, one at a time, one day at a time. We listen to the people who have already been doing this work, who have lived through times like this before, and do what they tell us to. It’s not easy, necessarily, but it isn’t necessarily complicated, either. That, I think, is the big picture of how we help going forward; here are a few things for the slightly smaller picture of this week.

First, two things we’ve published you may have missed: an excellent post by Molly talking all about coping skills with a lot of really good concrete information. KaeLyn wrote a great post on ways to get involved and make a difference, because even though it’s hard the best way to stop the feeling of helplessness is to help.

In general, I want to say that while you’ve probably been inundated with talk about self-care — and regardless of your feelings or associations around that concept, it’s going to be harder than ever before to get out of bed, to remember meals, to vacuum. It’s hard right now and it’s likely to only get harder. Figure out what works best to motivate or trick yourself into successfully keeping up with the daily routine of being a person, of taking care of yourself, and fix that in your mind. Maybe it’s imagining how you would want a friend to be taken care of, and doing that for yourself; maybe it’s remembering your younger self and committing to not letting them down. For me, because maybe I have more spite in me than I’d like to admit, it’s thinking about how the people who have just been elected want the worst for me, and deciding to frustrate them. I’ve been having a hard time waking up or remembering to eat, but last night I thought about how much Mike Pence doesn’t want LGBT people to be healthy or happy and filled up my pill-a-day container with vitamins for the week, something I haven’t done in months. Figure out what you need to focus on to keep going, and remember it every day.

If the plethora of email scandals and revelations about the NSA even before this election didn’t spook you, the election should have. Here’s some information on stuff to know about web security, an action plan for web security for artists and activists, and securing your Google account.

Free or affordable mental health and counseling resources.

What to do if your child is experiencing racist bullying.

Some ways to deal concretely with panic and anxiety.

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Originally from Boston, MA, Rachel now lives in the Midwest. Topics dear to her heart include bisexuality, The X-Files and tacos. Her favorite Ciara video is probably "Ride," but if you're only going to watch one, she recommends "Like A Boy." You can follow her on twitter and instagram.

Rachel has written 1142 articles for us.


  1. Love your post. We must take this down to a very personal level and keep our strength up – physically and mentally if we are going to help anyone else and be a united force against this evil. Thanks again.

  2. Woah, that web security stuff is so over my head, I barely know what any of it means or why it really matters? but I just had a creepy experience going through customs, where they took my phone into another room for a little while, and didn’t tell me what they did with it. It freaked me out, I have so much stuff on there now I feel like I should delete all but the essentials and try to understand this all more. Thanks for bringing it up.

  3. I also love to use spite as a coping mechanism, and will use this opportunity to post one of my favorite poems, from a forgotten poet I found in a rare used bookstore:

    I love the grim white thistle stalks
    Upon the hills where Autumn walks
    A yellow hag with breast all bare
    And grasses sticking in her hair.

    I love their twisted forms, the sneer
    That marks them of a high career,
    That reached at love and gathered dross
    And rose in scorn above its loss

    I love the bleak old skeletons
    That stare defiance at the suns,
    For they were green, their leaf is dry,
    And they can laugh as the hag goes by.

  4. Y’all I need to vent. I got added to a “Pantsuit Nation” Facebook group which is basically a white feminist page where Hillary supporters mourn their loss and the occasional POC shares a story of harassment and gets supportive comments. A white woman started a thread saying some POC had voiced not feeling included and how should they address that? It was quickly flooded with white people chiming in to say everyone is included! Or I’m a white male and I’m here! Or even more useless and worse: “these conversations are so divisive” “why are we bringing race into this?” And “we should just embrace unity.” Are these the people marching against Trump? I don’t want to be part of a movement that silences POC and is only focused on white issues.

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