Dear Jewish Fairy Godmother:

How am I going to get my mojo back? I was on such a happy creative roll. I was
eating well, exercising often, in a happy and positive mood. And then the election
laid me low. I felt sad and in almost a clinical depression for weeks. Lots of
staring, and several pounds of sugar and carbs later I feel like a big sad sack. I’m
over the crying but still flying at half-mast. What can I do to feel whole and
hopeful again?


Dear Undone:

You are certainly not alone in your sense of despair over the recent elections.
Some people are in a fearful state because of perceived and actual threats
happening because of their religion, color, orientation, or just because they were
vocal “blue” advocates in “red” districts or even families. This election is a chance
for greater healing or greater division, but I would caution you not to venture into
the arenas for dialogue with folks who are opposed to what depressed you in a
hard-core way until you feel stronger and more resilient.

What to do: Start by eating better. It’s an amazingly simple truth that how we fuel
our bodies can severely impact our moods. So set limits on what you put in that
isn’t good for you, whether you count calories, fat, carbs, or sugar. Exercise
more. Simply going to a class at the gym will get you back in touch with your
body as a vehicle for energy, not just tears. Find a support group of people who
agree with your political views and regularly participate in activities that empower
your feelings about American democracy. We are a complex country with a
complicated political process. Look for ways to express what matters to you and
organize some of your time around healing your community. Start local and work
your way up. And don’t discount the healing value of grieving. Jews sit shiva for a
week and say Kaddish for a year exactly so there is a mechanism for staying in
touch with their feelings and slowly coming to terms with the new reality. There’s
a saying going around, “Don’t normalize.” You can find your own new normal
while still advocating the values you feel were under-represented at the polls.
Think long haul, not just this week.