A Jewish Therapist’s Tips for Surviving in the Trump Era

sleeping woman“The air I’m breathing feels different,” a friend said after the inauguration. Clients report waking from dreams screaming at Trump and his supporters. I, myself, wake through the night, agitated. 

The confirmation of Jeff Sessions as attorney general, arrests of immigrants who have lived productively here for decades, Mitch McConnell silencing Elizabeth Warren on the Senate floor—these are troubling times. I sign petitions daily, call my state and federal Congress people weekly. When I couldn’t get through to his Washington office, I even mailed a handwritten full-page letter to my Congressman detailing my concerns. Anxiety makes for activism. How do we sustain our commitment, hold steady in the midst of chaos? 

Deep breaths, sleep, healthy food, exercise—these are necessities. Mani-pedis, bubble baths, hot showers, massages and vacations are wonderful but not sufficient. I need more. How do all of us nurture our souls knowing we’ve signed not for a sprint but for a triathlon?