We don't really get political here on the Once and Future Podcast. Live and let live, celebrate our differences, and all that. We try to keep our focus on the positive things in life and the nerdiverse, and our goal is to have fun.
But...well, look around. People are miserable. It doesn't matter what political party you're in, who you're supporting, who you're not supporting. This election season is stressful. There are people reporting health problems. And while the election is important--and I would say a stressful election could be more important than usual--we all need an escape. It's too much at times. People are at each other's throats, things feel so dire, and it's just pervasive. The election is EVERYWHERE.
So how can we, especially sensitive creative types, survive? How can we step away from it all even for a little while? Well, by falling back on the things we love. Here are some things I think, no matter how divided we might be politically, we can all agree might make for a pleasant escape from the nastiness that's going on:
1. Grab a book. Face it, there is no election, no Clinton or Trump, in Westeros. And God knows, those people are more miserable than we are. Their scandals make anything we have in this election pale by comparison. Want some lighter fare? Why not grab a Terry Pratchett book, or *cough* an Anton Strout novel?
2. Get creative. Yes, sometimes stress can block you from being creative. It's rough. But instead of trying to force it, why not just pick up something new. Let it all out. Grab some paint if you usually write. Grab a pencil or marker, or sidewalk chalk. Get some recipes and cook some new meals. Just make art without worrying about the result. Make a costume for Halloween.
3. Kon Mari the shit out of your house. That's right. Clean that place up. Not only will you be in a better head space after decluttering, you'll be healthier without the dust, and it's good exercise. Donate the clothing you don't want to a shelter or to Goodwill or wherever you think it will do some good. Look at all the things you have in your home that bring you joy.
4. Volunteer at the animal shelter. Walk some dogs or pet some cats. Talk to them, give them scritches. They don't judge. They don't are who's president. They just want some friendship. No one will appreciate your time more.
5. Play. That's right. Play. Remember what it was like to do that? You can play toys with your kids. You can play toys with yourself. You're a grown ass person, you can do whatever you want. Have a food fight at the dinner table. Play some games with your friends as long as you can agree that politics has NO PLACE in it. Spend an afternoon playing Splendor or Lords of Waterdeep, King of Tokyo. There are even games out there you can play by yourself. Do a crossword puzzle. Build some Legos. Make a puzzle.
Elections are important. Voting is important. But you shouldn't be so overwhelmed by the political climate that you become depressed or sick. Don't let it consume you. Embrace moments of happiness every day, and remind yourself that life is good, and can still be good no matter who is in office. Live, love, and laugh.
And please remember to vote on November 8!
Melanie R. Meadors is an author and editor of science fiction and fantasy, blogger at The Once and Future Podcast, and a professional author publicist. She studied physics and astronomy at Northern Arizona University, where no day was complete without a heated debate over relativity versus quantum mechanics. You can find her at her website, melaniermeadors.com, on Facebook, and Twitter, @melaniermeadors.