It’s been a big week no matter which team you’re rooting for, and we’re not talking about sports.
With the election results still coming in, millions of people (both in the U.S. and abroad) are refreshing their social media pages at breakneck speed or pacing around their houses waiting for the latest news.
If you have what one might call an election hangover, here are some ideas for taking extra care of yourself today and in the days to come.
Drink extra water. Even if you didn’t drink too much on Tuesday night, it’s a good idea to stay extra hydrated right now. In Austin, we’re getting into high allergy season, and drinking extra water is one way to help your body fight off that extra pollen.
Get into nature. Barton Springs is open on Tuesday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday. McKinney Falls State Park is closer than you think. There are hike-and-bike trails all over the Austin metro area. Go find one.
Soak up the sun. The forecast in Austin couldn’t be nicer, and the Vitamin D is good for your body and your soul. Go get some.
Spend some time in your garden. Grab a pair of clippers and prune your unruly bushes. Dramatic cut backs can be cathartic and will encourage your perennials to grow back vigorously. It’s a great time of year to plant trees and cool weather annuals. Spend an hour at your favorite plant store and pick up some pansies and snapdragons that will adorn your garden with color all winter long. While you’re out there, drop a bevy of bulbs in the ground to set yourself up for a spectacular spring.
Get on the water. Rent a kayak or stand-up paddleboard on Lady Bird Lake or Lake Pflugerville. Or go hang out on the Pfluger Pedestrian Bridge over Lady Bird Lake.
Read a book. Austin’s libraries are open for curbside pick-up, so order a book, grab a blanket and hit the park or your front yard for a little D.E.A.R. (Drop everything and read.)
Volunteer. When you’re feeling helpless, finding a way to help others can bring great comfort. Here’s a list of local non-profits that could use your help.
Go on a walk. Strolling through your own neighborhood is a free and easy way to re-center yourself. Find a podcast that has nothing to do with the news or pick a new album and listen to it from start to finish.
Call a friend. Talk about the state of affairs if you must, but consider establishing a "no news" conversation to catch up on other things in your life. Help each other wind down rather than wind each other up.
Cook a meal for yourself and make extra. Sure, we’re all burnt out from cooking all year, but pick out a comfort food you’ve been craving lately and make enough for you and a neighbor or a friend. It’ll perk both of you up and give you something to do with your hands that’s not holding a phone.
Lose yourself in music. Spend some quality time with your favorite album. Don’t just use it as a soundtrack for doom scrolling on your phone, but listen to the lyrics, feel the swells of sound, remember where you were the first time you heard it. Log on to your favorite streaming music service and make yourself a playlist or better yet, drop by Austin’s recently reopened music emporium, Waterloo Records, to scoop some new tunes.
Explore your artistic side. Maybe you’re no Picasso, but why not pick up a paintbrush or at least a sketch pad and a pencil? Most of us carry a camera with us everywhere we go, so take a walk around your neighborhood and find interesting things to photograph. Now would be a fine time to revisit that old knitting or needle point project you never finished. Not that crafty? Grab an adult coloring book and a box of Crayolas and get to it.