It’s Okay to Take a Breather: Caring for Yourself in Light of the Kavanaugh Hearings
On Thursday, September 27, I tuned into the Kavanaugh hearing along with 20 million other viewers worldwide.
As we watched, we shifted from proud to empowered to shocked to insulted to dejected. No matter whose “side” we were on, viewers were transfixed by the insanity of American politics that day.
After hours of testimony, the hearing ended just like that—no answers and no conclusions. We were left with our feelings and, perhaps, a list of senators to call in anger and anguish.
The hearing left me empty. My insides had been scraped clean like a pumpkin being prepared for Halloween; I was raw and bruised to my core.
With each bit of news I have consumed on Kavanaugh since, I fan a flame that has sparked in my emptiness. Usually, the fire in my belly fuels activism and outspokenness. But this time I am feeding a heat that burns me internally rather than pushing me forward. I am causing damage to myself rather than standing for what I believe in.
This is a reminder that it is okay to take a break. Sometimes, when your feeling are threatening to combust, you need to sit down and let others fight for you. It is easier to address injustice when we give ourselves a moment to breath, collect our thoughts, and piece ourselves back together. That is precisely what I am doing in the wake of the Blasey-Kavanaugh testimonies.
The following are self-care routines that I have indulged in, or plan to indulge in, through Kavanaugh’s confirmation process. These suggestions may help ease you dampen a self-destructive fire or simply ease the symptoms of the “scumbag induced malaise”* you may have caught from the U.S. senate judiciary hearings.
*I checked with a doctor and sumbag-induced-malaise is a thing. Triggers include old/white/male politicians with no sense of conscience, children posing as presidents and presidential advisors, Brock Turners, douchebags from Yale, douchebags named Brett (or Brad or Chad or any variation of WASP boy names), and R. Kelly. Symptoms are as follows: dizziness, nausea, diarrhea, anger, extreme resentment, longing for full bottles of wine or boxes of chocolates, frustration, irritability, long naps, cry sessions, seeking companionship from like-minded individuals, throwing plates at the television. Remedies are as follows.
7+ reprieves in light of recent kavanaugh news
Check out some Kavanaugh Memes
Are they petty? Sure. Does petty feel good sometimes? Yes. Does Kavanaugh deserve to be made fun of? Absolutely.
+ Kavanaugh compared to hissing Opossums
+ Matt Damon’s Kavanaugh cold open on SNL
+ Best tweet reactions to Kavanaugh’s “I like beer” statements
+ Lindsey Graham compared to a pissed off raccoon
+ SNL making fun of Kavanaugh even more
Turn off your phone and ignore everyone
For real. I did this this weekend and it was heavenly. IT IS OKAY TO DETOX.
Read a book about badass women
Some suggestions include:
+ Madame President: The Extraordinary Journey of Ellen Johnson Sirleaf by Helene Cooper
+ Americanah by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie
eat some dessert
You can have dessert for breakfast, lunch, or dinner at this point. Hell, you can have desert for all three meals of the day and snacks. All bets are off. Do whatever the fuck makes you happy.
+ Single serving apple crisp
cut out the news
A privilege in itself but hell, sometimes you just need a breather before you can step back in to ring of modern media. Turn off your news notifications, switch your radio from NPR to a trashy talk show, and stay away from CNN, New York Times, and the like. I shouldn’t even have to tell you to turn off Fox News…but if it is on in your house put it on mute and read the Society of Professional Journalists Code of Ethics (the gold standard in journalism) just to see if Fox hits the mark (hint: it does not). Or put the channel on parental lock to really annoy the Fox News lovers in your home.
Watch your favorite movie
Especially if it features a strong female lead kicking some butt. Here are some suggestions:
Hang with your fave people
Whether that be a posse of badass women, your family, your partner, or even your cat. Chill with someone who you can bitch to and find solace in all at once.
Have a fucking drink
Is it still morning? Mimosa or a bloody mary. Is it noon? You can drink whatever the fuck you want…just maybe not beer in light of recent events. Or perhaps only international beer. (Dismiss the photo above where I ignored my own advice and drank U.S. made IPA. Be better than me.) Evening? Break out the scotch and cigars. Don’t like scotch or cigars? Me neither, but just set it near you and don’t partake. Trust me, it will make you feel like a bad bitch to take something traditionally “masculine” and claim it as your own.
Treat ‘yo self in any other way you see fit
This may mean an at home spa day, a day at an actual spa, getting a foot massage from your significant other, taking a long bath or shower, hitting up the shooting range, going for a long drive, hiking, or simply sleeping in, do whatever small thing brings you comfort that doesn’t hurt the people around you.
In the end, we will not know Kavanaugh’s status until his hearing. Many predict he will be confirmed despite Dr. Blasey’s testimony. I could type pages on what we can do to still fight his nomination, the importance of voting in November, how we can change modern politics, and more. But that’s not what this post is about.
Whether Kavanaugh is confirmed or not, we know this judiciary hearing will be discussed within the following weeks and years to come. Rather than leap in to the next political battle with an open sore, we should prepare for the future by bandaging our wounds. We can nurse our pain now and, in the future, use our scars to remind us why we fight for our beliefs.
Stay strong, y’all.
What about you? How are you taking care of yourself in this Kavanaugh-induced malaise?