Citizen Malaise

There have been many articles that outlined how contentious our recent election was. No matter who you supported or voted for, everyone felt strongly about the outcome for their candidate. However, after the election results were confirmed, it seems many folks felt even worse.

As I talk with individuals and listen around my community, there is a pervasive sense of fear and dread. It doesn’t seem to be about just the new administration’s activities or choices, but rather an all-encompassing, life-encroaching cloud that I call citizen malaise. It isn’t just about immigration or healthcare reforms; it is an over-arching sense of doom and potential destruction. It is more than politics, dislike of a candidate or a political party.

It is about issues near and dear to many of us. Living with the constant nagging reality that deportation could be a reality for your family. Or the climate change regulations you supported are not being continued. Privacy laws for the internet are affected by changes at the FCC. How do you carry on your daily work in this environment?

Old stalwart advice is to focus on helping others when you feel depressed and overwhelmed. For citizen malaise, I believe it is about activism and advocacy. Do not let the fear silence the stories that once empowered you! (L. A. Times, 3/29/16). Pick the issue that bugs you the most and talk or write about it in a constructive way. By the way, this is not the same as bashing behaviors on Facebook and other social media. Join a grassroots advocacy organization, especially if you are a woman; to further the agenda and principles of the Million women marches.

The one thing you don’t have to do is sit silently and fume. This is your chance to activate your “soul wellness” by doing something to counteract your citizen malaise!

Posted by Susan Odegaard Turner – MentorRN

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