Hey, it’s OK. I know you’re scared and tired and confused. Our country is divided and torn in ways we haven’t seen in our lifetimes. Here are some ways to (maybe kind of) restore your peace of mind today.
- Log out. Consider beginning your day by logging out of Facebook and Twitter. Download the Chrome extension “StayFocused” that times your activity on certain websites. Take a moment to be, very, very quiet. No arguments, no toxicity, and no hate speech. Go make yourself some breakfast.
- Vote — Duh! You may be disillusioned with the presidential candidates, but did you know that a total of 469 seats in the U.S. Congress (34 Senate seats and all 435 House seats) are up for election? Or that Bowling Green is electing a new city commission? Learn about your down-ballot candidates then head to your local polling place to cast your vote. Need a ride? Check out WKU’s Ride to Vote rideshare program. You’ll feel better knowing you’ve done what you can.
- Read some BOOKS! — A democracy is made of people. The ideas those people share are important. The ability to understand and empathize with the experience of others within a democracy is important. What better way to do so than through books?Check out some classics about civil rights issues like The New Jim Crow by Michelle Alexander, Citizen by Claudia Rankine, and Between the World and Me by Ta-Nehisi Coates. Want to get lost in some fiction instead? Pick up one of the “Great American Novels,” like The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn by Mark Twain, Beloved by Toni Morrison, or Infinite Jest by David Foster Wallace.
- Listen to NPR — You’ve probably heard the common English field phrase, “Anything is a text.” That includes radio. Take some time to sit back and listen to your local NPR station. If you live in BG, you can tune your radios to 88.9 FM. Otherwise, you can stream it online. The objectivity, nuance, and variety of perspectives will refresh your tired American spirit, and appeal to that special English major part of your soul that loves clear and concise language.
- Take a nap. Hey, Hilltoppers, we have the day off! Don’t let it pass you by without catching a few Zzzz‘s. After all, you’ve earned it after exercising your democratic right. Then, get back to work on that twelve page research paper you’ve been avoiding.