Happy Tuesday. Go Vote! I’m a Brit, so no voting for me — all I can bring to you is advice on how to KEEP CALM. I asked W42ST readers what they would be doing to steady the nerves for the next few hours/days/weeks! [Apologies for the late newsletter — overwhelmed by reader response… Off for a lie-down!]
“Right when you think you can’t handle a situation. 6 DEEP BREATHS. Each inhale should last 5 seconds and each exhale should take 5 seconds. Do it until you’ve counted 6 full breaths. If you lose track, start over. It has helped me tremendously.” ~ Tyler W.
“Only decaf coffee today…
“I think I’ll be relying on my two very active toddlers to keep me occupied physically & emotionally and it’ll be one of these days I wouldn’t mind that. Also, watching shows like Friends & Shitts Creek at night would help to take that anxiety away:)” ~ Alisa.
“Xanax. Months ago, I put 2 aside for Election Day and the day after!” ~ Hope.
“My first thoughts were I was going to try my hand at rioting and looting. My next was that I was going to sip vodka in a darkened room and write poetry.
“To be honest…it has been a tough couple of days!! It’s been very stressful and not been sleeping well!! Hoping we don’t have a repeat today. But thank goodness I have been very busy with work so I have been focus on and that’s a good thing because it takes my mind off of stressing and worrying. It will not be easy today…but all we can do is hope and pray!!” ~ iAN.
“A great day to get some exercise in to put those stress hormones to use and give the brain a shot of endorphins!” ~ Mark F.
“I’ll be working at Westville all day (though we close 2pm-6pm to give ample time for our employees to vote). I’m hoping that being at work all day, getting people fed and serving cocktails, will help me contribute to and foster a sense of positive energy and unity with my community, all of whom have a lot to be anxious about this week.” ~ Peter S.
“Sigh. Chocolate, hugging my baby, petting my dog, more chocolate, walks outside, ice cream, and whiskey.” ~ Alix.
“Listening to nature sounds whole reading a romantic comedy book. Youtube has a channel called Calm Nature. Play it in the background while reading.
“I’m going to lean into creative projects. I’m grateful that I have my daily songwriting and working on a zoom musical and book about my pandemic experiences. Those will keep me busy and distracted!” ~ Benjamin.
“Staying home with my family and trying not to think about it too much. Positive thoughts! I truly believe that we will be ok! Going to bed early helps as well.” ~ Fabian.
“Walks with the pup. Taking breaks from social media/news; it can be too overwhelming!” ~ Liis.
“The best way to keep calm is not mixing up the pandemic with politicians and choosing the right president. I have decided no to watch the news anymore because makes me paranoid.” ~ Noelia.
“Peloton, Peloton, Peloton. (Leaderboard name: PeterShankman)” ~ Peter.
“Walking around the city and trying to embrace the emotional outpouring. Not hiding inside. And wearing a mask!” ~ Damon.
“Try to keep your routine (as little or as much as you have one right now). For me, that’s avoiding national news. I stick to local to stay informed. And I’ll be doing my normal workouts with Mitchell Wayne.
His classes are free all week if you send him a pic of your ‘I Voted’ sticker. Also, there are lots of free mediation apps…and don’t be afraid to eat a little comfort food.” ~ Cristina.
“Love it! How to keep calm? Drugs!!” ~ Amir.
“My strategy of keeping centered is to try to look at things in a perspective, listen to music while watching the sunset, watch old movies, and meet with friends to keep my mind off things. It seemed impossible to go through the last four years and seemed impossible to live in quarantine, but difficult times force us to be creative and think positively about the future. The future’s not ours to see, but it is our to dream about.” ~ Lora.
“I’m praying, talking to my family, dancing my favorite broadway choreography, and drinking my favorite wine to keep calm. The anxiety is REAL right now.” ~ Kiara.
“Something I think has helped me each week has been doing away with the phone or any social media for a few hours, pour a glass or wine or a dram of whiskey, and journal a thought or two onto postcards that I’ll send to my friends around the country. Always helps with humor-based postcards. I’ve also found more time to focus on my old hobbies. As you know, I like to knit. This is the first time I’ve been making toys to send to friends, which has been calming and rewarding. Here is a picture of a knit Pizza Rat. I’d also recommend seeking out a painting course via zoom. I’ve been able to reconnect with an art teacher I took lessons from 6 years ago and have been able to pick back up the brush. So I guess for me, Keep Calm and Knit, Paint, or Send a Postcard!” ~ Young.
“I just got back from upstate where I have been for the past couple weeks and it was sad to come back today and see everybody’s boarding up their places. Tomorrow I am basically staying home and trying to avoid the news. And yes I already voted.” ~ Francis.
“I’m listening to: Stay Tuned by Dominique Fils-Aime and her other works ALL DAY! hahaha. I feel like my feet are planted in the earth, which is what I need today! To be grounded, calm, resolute.” ~ Nicki.
“Well the nerves have been building for a few weeks now and last night they came to a head. I had 4 cups of chamomile tea. The pups are my go-to. When I’m with them I’m in the moment. So luckily after the workday I have my own pup Tilly to cuddle with. My husband is begging me to not have CNN on as soon as I get home tonight. So maybe keeping the news off until… Well… Maybe 9pm? But I can’t promise that. So loads of naturally decaf tea loads of puppies and fresh air and a tiny bit of CNN. Also loads of text messages to friends with tons of cursing throughout the day. Also Borat. Hubby insists we watch the new Borat before I put on the news tomorrow. Think he may be in to something!” ~ Mirjana.
“KEEP CALM and Dance (or watch dance)” ~ Jessica C.
“I plan to visit my favorite shop cat (Ric of Daytona Trim) on my lunch break. That will hold me over til I get home… Cat huffing is an excellent coping mechanism!” ~ Catie.
“Basically getting out of town. I hopped on a flight to my calm place Puerto Rico, everything is better here.” ~ Vic.
“Staying home with my dog.” ~ Brianne.
“My optimism of a Joe Biden victory will keep me calm.” ~ Howie.
“Drink lots of tea… Does the trick every time!!!” ~ Cecelia.
“I voted early so! Morning Meditation with my @insighttimer, binge-watching EVIL, Lovecraft Country, and reading CASTE … photographing tonight’s sunset.” ~ Daphne.
“I would (myself and advise to) keep calm by taking a walk, perhaps to the Pier (84), or a bike ride along the West Side Highway; any type of meditational exercise (yoga, pilates) or even otherwise (weights); hang out with or call a friend & do anything non-related to the news/election; watch a movie or tv show’ pray (my personal favorite, where I go to church everyday)!” ~ Mark.
“Running and yoga, whiskey and soul.” ~ Lisa.
“I anticipate I’ll be feverishly alternating between checking Twitter, CNN, and watching lip sync videos by Gen Zers on TikTok.” ~ Matt F.
“I teach at Art and Design HS and at the beginning of each class we either take three deep breaths together or shake it out. Remote teaching and learning are not easy tasks. Keeping connected helps keep me calm.” ~ Ilona.
“My tip is to always stay optimistic, stay hydrated (non-alcoholic), keep your bearings, and not act out of aggression :-/ We are all very on edge.” ~ Andrew.
“Chamomile tea in one of my favorite mugs. The mug on the left is from Delphinium Home; the mug on the right is not (it has a funny typo that not everybody catches at first). Hope you get a kick out of it! Also, having a cat helps. For non-pet-owners, here’s an Instagram cat account that I recommend.” ~ Jenny.
“November 3rd is not to be triffled with. I have a plan. I will wake up, make double the amount of my best coffee, I will go for a run outside, with a mask, being friendly and human to the other people I encounter. I will come home, stretch – some say my stretching looks like yoga. I will have a normal workday making sure to be extra kind. I will watch the results with deep breathing, texts to friends and family and I will hope for the best. But I’ve been disappointed so I will try not to hope too much. I will imagine a moment in the future when I can have a glass of wine or a cocktail without feeling like I’ve been transported back to another time and place where hatred, selfishness and ignorance rule. My 13 year old daughter is stressed about the whole day. I simultaneously think that is great and sad. I’ll focus on keeping her looking forward.” ~ Susan.
Be in Community with others (family, friends, loved ones that care for you)
Stay off social media
Go for a walk
VOTE!” ~ Courtney.
“I meditate. I subscribe to an app called Headspace and the breathing exercises bring me calmness. When I wake up in the morning I tell Alexa to play ‘ocean sounds’. It brings me peace.” ~ Chuck.
“I’m hanging and eating dinner at an art gallery in BK. My friend runs it, it’s called Open Source Gallery. They are having an artist soup kitchen. Anyone can come. I’ll also be drinking several delicious iced coffees. Fingers crossed the world doesn’t burn.” ~ Chelsey.
“To keep calm I remind myself that even if the election doesn’t go the way I would like that the LGBTQ community and Black community has overcome major hurdles and we will continue to fight for equality after this election. Fighting for justice is not about one election, but the American spirit. As New Yorkers facing the covid pandemic, we were able to bend the curve because we the people took control. The American spirit is stronger and more powerful and one election and will continue the fight for democracy and what’s right.” ~ Ted.
“I’m cooking! I literally just stocked up in groceries from Trader Joe’s and I have all my sweet treats and stress foods readily available.” ~ Joe.
“I’ll be smoking a lot of weed, playing with my plants and my cat, making a big pot of chili, and gathering (digitally) with some girlfriends to hold space together.” ~ Emily.
“Instead of watching the election results, I’m opting to read David Sedaris’s new book of essays “The Best of Me” which is being released tomorrow. Oh, and a Xanax before going to bed. I’ll wake up Wednesday morning and deal with the aftermath.” ~ Jeffrey.
“Oh god. Anything I can. Hopefully work will distract me for most of the day but listen, I already smudged my apartment with sage to cleanse out any bad energy and made sure there’s extra wine in the fridge so it’s chilled for the moment I step in the door this evening. Meditate? Stress text all my friends who are stress texting because misery loves company? Melatonin for when it gets too late and we still know nothing?” ~ Jess.
“Replace scrolling on social media with comfort foods. Personal favorites, healthy homemade orzo salad and a Hot Toddy. Or a big ole glass of red wine. For me dancing cures everything. Play your favorite playlist and get up and move. Or put on that amazing concert you once attended when life was fun, from Youtube and relive that moment, singing and dancing along.” ~ Juli.
“Stay away from the news. It’s only going to feed our worst thoughts. And local television news is even worse at covering stories. So that goes double for avoiding them. I’ve set up goals to engage in the things that bring me joy everyday. Even if I check off only one thing from that list I am going to celebrate it.” ~ Chris.
“I’m not going to check any social media and news until at least 8pm. If needed, I’ll do this every day until the results are in.” ~ Marc.
“Box breathing for particularly challenging minutes. Staying in touch with loved ones. Reminding myself of my resilience & strength in any case scenario. Reminding myself of OUR resilience & strength in any case scenario.” ~ Anna.
“Booze lol. I am working on the election but I like doing laundry or exercise.” ~ Jeenah.
“I’ve survived stage 3 melanoma and kidney disease, having received a kidney transplant after being on dialysis 48 hours a week for 7 years. When I get stressed out I try to remember that I am blessed with good health these days and that is the most important thing in life compared to business and politics. Also, working out and deep breathing exercises helps.” ~ Steve.
“I think just prepare to cook dinner at home? Get some wine and cozy up with your dog or loved ones. There’s gonna be craziness no matter what, so best to be safe!” ~ Jillian M.
“Honestly, I’ve been watching the news every day but today… I need a break because of anxiety levels creeping up! So, I’m watching Seinfeld for fun and laughs! Great show, that I watched randomly growing up, but now since I have time I’m binge-watching! I also love The Office and Friends, and could have those playing all day-everyday!” ~ Ryan.
“I actually just downloaded Balance, the meditation app (free for the first year!) So I’ve been doing some beginner meditations. Overall my tip would be to take your mind off the election for at least an hour and do some mental or physical activity, whether it’s yoga, meditation, a run, etc.!” ~ Rebeka.
“There have been a few things I have been doing to get myself in a good routine trying to keep myself calm and level headed and will be doing tomorrow.
- Morning walk to get my 10,000 steps
- Mediation for 20 minutes after exercise
- Disconnect from Facebook and Twitter during the work day
- Limit my time on social media to twice a day, once in the morning and once in the evening
- Avoid coffee after 2pm
- Avoid computers and mobile devices after 9pm
- Read for 30 minutes before bed
- Try and get 7-8 hours sleep
“Have to admit I am very much over 2020.” ~ Matt.
“Expect the worst, stay home, watch Tv (no news) and drink chamomile tea
“A light dulling of the senses with 19 Crimes red blend from Manhattan Plaza Winery paired with a late season Law & Order: SVU marathon is the perfect de-stressor whether pre- during or post-election day.” ~ PZ.
“Besides binge-watching Netflix’s “Emily in Paris”, I started to listen to French lessons by Michel Thomas. It’s amazing how much you can learn just by listening to a French lesson take place with two other students and there is no note-taking or textbook as a guide.” ~ Persephone.
“Truth – whiskey.” ~ Tony.
“I’m going to take a hot bath. But I don’t think I’ll be calm until Trump is out of office.” ~ Maya.
“Staying in/home. Limiting my intake of news and social chatter until it’s absolutely necessary to check-in. Reminding myself that our voices are best heard on the ballot and the rest is out of my hands. We have no choice but to stay positive.” ~ Lynnette.
“The religious writer Anne Lamott has a new morning and evening prayer routine. In the morning she prays, ‘whatever.’ And in the evening, ‘oh well.’ While there may be a bit of tongue-in-cheek here, the point of resignation to that which is beyond our control is a long and very healthy tradition – religious or otherwise. After we’ve voted, called, canvased, and whatever else… let’s stay calm with a healthy, ‘oh well’.” ~ Scott.
“I’ve been taking my mind off things by doing some puzzles. My daughter sent me a link to this website, Cracking the Cryptic, and before I knew it I was hooked and have spent many hours enjoying the puzzles there, and also watching the two hosts doing live solves, with two new ones every day. You’d never think such a thing could be addictive, but it really is, try it yourself. And when you’re engrossed in the puzzles, you forget everything else, including the pandemic and election.” ~ Paul.
“Anecdotally, I did something even more stressful, I traveled by plane during a pandemic. I was not calm but took my mind completely off the election.” ~ Jo.
“My head is already toast from the campaigns running up to it. In a perfect world one would turn everything off. No TV. No social media. Go for a 8 mile stroll. Make cocktails at home. Resume life or what is left Thursday.” ~ Brenda.
“I decided to have the screen up tomorrow at the restaurant. So, it will be full immersion stress. I see that some of my friends/clients took a week (or month) of social media and decided to meditate or start a new hobby. Mass and social media have been overwhelming and honestly, I am looking forward – if Biden wins – to a much less drama presidency and return to “boring” politics.” ~ Daniele.
“Looking forward to reading your newsletter! I’ve never felt anxiety like this surrounding an election. I’ll workout, try to focus on work and cook. It’s going to be difficult to stay away from media. I really think we won’t know definitively today.” ~ Erin.
“Oh god. The knowledge that a coup would destabilize the market and thusly does not have the backing that it would take to pull it off… and whiskey.” ~ Brendan.
“I try to visit my horse in Chester NY every other day it’s an hour away, absolutely beautiful and peaceful. I leave at 7am and get back before noon recharged and ready for work! And usually a brownie Sundae helps ease the stress.” ~ Nicola.
“It’s going to be hard but…. Focus on what you can control, not on the things you can’t.” ~ Jeremy.
“I came back to NY to vote in person. I have been phone banking and text banking. Now I’m done and drinking a bloody mary. I did a hit on my vape and going to have dinner. you probably can’t use any of this. haha.” ~ Paulette.
“Hang in there! This too shall pass. Working full time (from home).
Painting/watercoloring. Listening to audiobooks and looking out of my 40th-floor window
“How do I keep calm? You mean besides the medicinal assistance of a good rye whiskey? During the day, work will keep me very busy and keeping busy keeps me calm. As the evening develops, I’ll read Don DeLillo’s new novel, The Silence. And I’ll play it by ear from there.” ~ Robert.
“Hmmmmm. Vodka!!” ~ Holly-Anne.
What we’ve been reading
Come buy $1 Election Day snacks today outside PS 51 Manhattan – Elias Howe!
Port Authority will fine travelers for not wearing a mask.
Ephemeral New York takes a look back at good ol’ fashioned election campaigning.
Bryant Park is the last holiday market standing this year.
“This city is still full of life and I know we will get back to our original self” – words of hope from Artie Rangini of St Kilda Coffee. Go visit!
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