It’s getting down to the wire
While the countdown to November 3rd continues, let’s take a deep breath and assess.
By most accounts, it’s unlikely that the winner will be announced on Election Night. It might take days or weeks to tally all the votes, recount, etc. The results may be contested and go into litigation. Democracy is a slow churn, so our nation’s fate may be unclear up to to Inauguration Day. It could be a chaotic and stressful several months, but we’ll need to plan and take it one day at a time.
How to prepare for the post-election
There’s a lot we can do even without knowing how the election will turn out. I offer these suggestions:
Get the paper. A free press is one of the key indicators of a healthy democracy. If you’re not already paying for print/online journalism, make a financial commitment today to quality reporting (however imperfect). Yes, there are sneaky ways around paywalls, but in a weakened democracy, the very survival of this freedom requires us all to pitch in.
Switch to a high-fiber media diet. Not all media nutrition is equal. There’s snacky media and there’s nutritious media. If you’re going to watch news on a screen, stick to thoughtful, high-fiber programs, then turn it off. Stop consuming snacky news that covers only outrageous highlights, lacks depth and nuance, and feeds fear and fury. High-quality media should be empowering.
Unplug: If your news comes from social media (which is addictive by design), be discerning about how much eye-time you give profit-driven corporations. If you find yourself feeling enraged, fearful, or hostile even after you log off, cut back. This requires discipline, but you will feel saner (not hyperbole) and have energy for more worthwhile pursuits like self care and community care.
Get connected. Fear grows in isolation. If you’re already part of a warm and supportive community, you’ve struck gold. If not, identify at least one buddy you’re comfortable talking with honestly and who listens well. Ask to check in with your buddy or community consistently (at least weekly) through January 2021. When you meet, take turns sharing what’s on your heart, expressing gratitude, and committing to specific self-nourishment actions before the next time you meet. Hold this time as sacred.
Create comfort in your living space. What helps you feel safe, calm, and resourceful in times of stress? Warm hugs, clean sheets, new batteries in the smoke alarms? For me, I need the community described above, plus cozy pajama pants, a stocked pantry, and a quiet corner where I can journal in the morning. With these needs met, I can face nearly any challenge. Write down the comforts you need for the next three-ish months and set a goal to get them organized by Halloween.
Do something fun on Election Night. Personally, I dread the nail-chewing of Election Night coverage, and I don’t live in a state where I can work the polls. Instead of fretting, my team and I are meeting virtually to watch a funny kids’ movie. While we’ll probably discuss election progress, the focus is on enjoying each other and being a support to one another. What could you do to lighten the evening? Play virtual games, do a trivia contest, lead a yoga session… Plan it. And tell us about it! #AltElectionNight
Honest talk: At AoCC, we want an election winner who values democracy and seeks to serve all Americans equally. However, no matter who wins, the world will still be turning when we wake up on November 4th. We’ll still have a pandemic, racism, sexism, homophobia, ablism, and inequity. We will also still have hopes and dreams of a better future for all people and our planet.
Even though a lot hinges on this election, the work ahead is essentially the same. Stay grounded and keep being here for each other.
The Americans of Conscience plan for November 2020
What comes after the election? In November, the AoCC team is planning 30 Days of Thanks to express gratitude to the incredible organizations we’ve been boosting the last four years. Gratitude is one of the seven core values of AoCC because research shows it reduces aggression, builds feelings of connection, heals trauma, and boosts optimism.
In short, gratitude is good for people and for democracy.
Every day this November, we will feature one group – 30 in total – to thank them for their life-changing, equality-affirming work. We’ll ask you to thank them too and consider making a small donation to their work. #30DaysofThanks
Together, we can lift up each other, even while the future is unclear.
We have two checklists in October, and the first is out today! Please continue to take good care of yourself!
- Take our GOTV challenge today to encourage others to vote.
- Check out this week’s list of actions in the AoC Checklist.
Join today’s Sunday Spark session!
Need a boost? Work on the latest Checklist as a community and get renewed energy. Free to all!
- Sunday, October 11, 2020 at 1pm Eastern/10am Pacific
- Zoom link: https://us02web.zoom.us/j/86241871142?pwd=RnRPdEY2U2RNbFJYRzJvZVFWL05LQT09
- Meeting ID: 862 4187 1142
- Passcode: 2020
- Find your local number: https://us02web.zoom.us/u/ktPOyJW39
Thank you for your suggestions to make us all feel calmer, more forgiving of ourselves and practical tips following the election
L B Davison
Thank you for the calming suggestions and for the GOTV campaign. I linked up with our local LWV and worked in creative ways to get people interested in voting and how to meet deadlines here in Illinois. Record early voting and turnout!! It is nearing the end and hopefully change is on the way. Thanks to everyone for all they are doing to protect our democracy.