11 ways to unwind now that this overwhelming election season has finally ended
Feeling tense? Frustrated? Resisting the urge to gloat? Trying to mend fences? People from both side of the aisle have been on high-stress alert for the last 18 months, and that stress doesn't seem to be dissipating any time soon. But self-care is important. Here are some ways to make sure you're doing right by you this weekend.
1. Binge-watch TV
My sister-in-law says she's about to start binge-watching The West Wing, because even the theme music makes her feel better. I'd recommend history, because perspective helps. Amazon Prime has HBO's The Gathering Storm, about Winston Churchill's "years in the wilderness," when he was out of power.
This might also be the weekend for Netflix's The Crown, about the early reign of Queen Elizabeth II, or Amazon's Good Girls Revolt, inspired by the women who fought Newsweek for the right to write, not just research at one-third the pay. — Ellen Gray, television critic
2. Take control
If you feel like things are out of control, consider what is within your power to manage, like breathing deeply, eating healthfully, and getting some movement. Visit a farmer's market for seasonal produce like pumpkins and butternut squash, and try these four healthy and comforting fall recipes. Take a walk in a setting you find soothing. Try these five simple, yoga-inspired moves for better health. Make stress-busting part of your daily routine with these four easy steps.
3. Listen to profound music
If any art finds, through tone, a higher ideal for the goodness of America than Barber's Knoxville: Summer of 1915, it's hard to know what it would be. With text excerpted from James Agee, the piece captures the sound of a nation well worth remembering: a blissful state of security and tenderness. Among more recent recordings, Dawn Upshaw's crystalline sound has power. But in a 1959 recording with conductor Thomas Schippers, Leontyne Price has a searching edge of humanity that seems particularly apt right about now. Anyone in need of comfort from the American spirit can do no better than to start here. — Peter Dobrin, culture writer
4. Talk to your kids
If your kids are anxious about the week's events, peel them away from their screens and talk. Remind them of all the positive things they can do to make their world better, such as volunteer work in the community and random acts of kindness like raking up a neighbor's leaves. Model positive, optimistic behavior for your kids. What Philadelphia pediatrician Gary A. Emmett said in this roundup of advice for parents really applies to all ages: "Don't do mean things even if you see an adult do them."
» READ MORE: 5. Go to the Ocean City Quiet Festival
While the Quiet Festival isn't new, this year is a special one, with an election theme. On Thursday, participants were awarded certificates for surviving the 2016 election.
If you can't make it to Ocean City on Saturday, hold a Quiet Festival of your own and pat yourself on the back for surviving it all.
6. Get offline
To fight your own post-election blues, take time off from snarky comments on social media, advises Jim A. Haugh, associate professor of psychology at Rowan University. "To fire back at them isn't going to make them change, and it isn't going to help you," Haugh said.
7. Take your time
Accept that it's going to take some time to get over feelings of loss, and it may be best just to not talk about it for a while, especially with friends and relations who don't share your politics. And if you can't avoid them, Temple University psychology professor Frank Farley advises these words: "I love you, but I can't get with your candidate. Let's not talk about it today."
8. Float on
Let out some of that post-election stress by getting away from it all, metaphysically, anyway. Hit up one of Philadelphia's float spas for an hour-plus session of sensory deprivation. After all, a little bit of nothingness may be exactly what folks need after such a tumultuous election season. Not sure where to start? Try Halcyon Floats at its Roxborough or Olde Kensington locations, Fishtown's Floatation Philly, or Washington Square West's Phloat.
10. See great art up close and personal
Go to the Philadelphia Museum of Art and behold Jitish Kallat's "Covering Letter," an installation that projects a letter written by Mahatma Gandhi to Adolf Hitler. The letter is a model of how we approach in peace those who hold utterly repugnant and opposing views. And the installation makes you the center of it.
Then get thee over to the Barnes Foundation to see "Live and Life Will Give You Pictures: Masterworks of French Photography, 1890-1950.". If great art can give comfort, then the Barnes will be like a mother's hug.