Fuck You 2016! A Guide to Looking After Ourselves

This has been a tough twenty-four hours in a tough year. Here are some ways to look after yourself this week.

You are not obliged to watch the news. You are not obliged to read Twitter. When we already know the outcome of the election, being told it again and again does nothing but keep us in that moment of upset when we first learnt it. You do not have to rubberneck the news.

Drink water. Take your medication. Sleep. Go for a walk. Stretch. Shower. Remember to eat. Do not sacrifice yourself and the things that keep you going at the altar of the news.

Delete Twitter and Facebook from your phone or turn off the notifications if that helps. Deal with other people’s opinions on your own terms, in your own time.

Call, text, message the people you love. Especially the people who the electorate don’t seem to.

Protect your mental health. Meditate if it helps you. Write down what worries you. Remember that you are not your thoughts.

If you need them, call the UK Samaritans on 116 123. In the US, the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline is on 800-273-8255 and the Trans Lifeline is on (877) 565-8860.


Here are some things to distract, entertain and comfort you.

For the next few days, you can listen to Alan Bennett reading Winnie-the-Pooh on the BBC website.

Stock up on some Emergency Compliments. Listen to a Calming Manatee.

The Supersizers sees restaurant critic Giles Coren and Bake Off’s own Sue Perkins eating (and notably drinking) the food from different periods. They are all on YouTube. Start with the Edwardians, the Victorians, the 1920s, the Regency and wartime rationing. And, of course, any episodes of the Great British Bake Off.

Crosswords, wordsearches or Sudokus. Not the cryptic kind. Something to occupy your brain.

Other competitive reality shows to consider are RuPaul’s Drag Race, Project Runway and America’s Next Top Model. Gobble them up like popcorn. Cookery shows that may include literal popcorn would include any Nigella or anything from River Cottage.

BBC Radio 4’s Ramblings follows lovely Clare Balding as she joins people on walks in Britain. Episodes are just over twenty minutes long and there are 175 available on the BBC website.

Sit and read cookery books. Look at all the pictures. I like Nigella Lawson, Nigel Slater and any Christmas books.

Browse Ravelry. Add lots to your favourites and re-arrange your queue.

Watch some television that has an optimistic worldview. Brooklyn 99, Parks and Recreation, Gilmore Girls. Wrap yourself in re-runs, in things you know make you feel safe.

Watch some murderers come to justice at the hands of Badass Lady Detectives in Miss Fisher’s Murder Mysteries and Murder, She Wrote.

Search the #indiepolish tag on Instagram and watch hypnotic videos of nail polish being mixed. (Lots here on StuffByStuff.) Paint your own nails.

Craft. Knitting, sewing, papercraft, drawing. Don’t try anything complicated, just occupy your hands, your mind and your time.

Look through all the amazing cosplay that Jen has shared on Epbot and marvel at how creative, enthusiastic and kind people can be.

Bake something. Cook something. Make yourself a big bowl warming of pasta with heaps of cheese. Feed yourself.


When you feel able to, here are ways you can make a difference.

Donate to the organisations we will need the most. In the US, look at Planned Parenthood, the American Civil Liberties Union, the Anti-Defamation League, Moms Demand Action and the NAACP. (There is a longer list on Jezebel today.) In the UK, Refuge, Liberty, the Refugee Council and Friends of the Earth.

Join your local political party, write to your elected representatives, give campaigns your time and your money. The Huffington Post has suggestions for organisations to support.

Diversify the voices you hear. Follow people different from yourself. Use the privileges you have to amplify marginalised voices.

When they go low, go high.


With thanks to @ldlapinski, @Ceilidhann, Margaret H. Willison and cwote on tumblr whose posts on these subjects were very useful in compiling this list.

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