Taking care of yourself is the first, and most important step. Do this. Make sure you are safe and supported before anything else. People care and want to help!
Many people feel afraid and uncertain about the future, or are triggered because of the election results. There are people to talk to. This website contains a list that includes hotlines for you, and help with specific resources like drug or alcohol abuse, depression, LGBTQ, sexual assault, and other many other needs. If you can’t talk live right now, there is a text-based webpage called ImAlive.org.
There are things you can do to keep calm and make good choices during stressful times. Get ahead of your stress with quotes and scenarios from others teens who have been there. This book can help you identify stress events, reduce stress reactions, and learn to control what you can in the stressful situation.
Find out what others are going through and thinking about:
Learning about others’ experiences can be helpful. It’s always good to know there are others going through the same thing, but also you can gain new perspective by listening to other people’s experiences.
Eleven vignettes about the coming four years in America. Stories around the country, about Americans, and the Trump presidency, some discussing the impact they are already experiencing. A variety of issues and profiles, including Trump voters, people fearful for their safety and security, and the contention this election season has caused in communities.
Teens talk about hopes for the future (before Hillary was defeated), what they want to see accomplished in the next term (with Donald Trump as President), and how they feel about America. Good insights and opinions from the future voters of America.
Author Brittney McNamara offers ideas on how to cope with fears of sexual assault, LGBTQ rights, and immigrant and Muslim rights. Suggestions, and links with further information, discussion, and resources to help you with your concerns. You are not alone!
A NY Times story about Matthew Chavez, an artist who created a post-it-note “Express Yourself” installation in the L train corridor. Thousands of commuters participated, and supported each other in the process.
Helpful and important ways to “step away” from the stress: Get out of your head, Get off social media, and Listen, Actually listen each have thoughtful ideas to help get past the shock and fear.
There is lots of information out there. Make sure it’s accurate (trace to the original source, for confirmation), look at the date of publication, and find supporting information.
Read something about someone not like you. Learn about a different culture, and the issues that surround that world. Work to understand someone else’s religion. This list is a good place to start!
Your rights are protected while demonstrating – know what those rights are, and don’t give up those rights! Knowledge is power!
Need help speaking to people with racist and bigoted language? How about when it’s your relative? How about when they’re speaking that way in front of children? Southern Poverty Law Center collected hundreds of stories, and offers ideas on how to confront bigotry in constructive, peaceful ways.
NYPL has an exhibit right now called Three Faiths; pointing out commonalities in Judaism, Christianity, and Islam. This list is an extension of that exhibit, showcasing books that discuss the benefits and importance of religious tolerance between the three faiths, and beyond. Besides… millions of awesome BOOKS – check them out!
These art blogs are super helpful, and apply to hate crimes against a lone person in a public space. Instead of being confrontational (you are to completely ignore the attacker and not interact with them whatsoever), they show ways to engage with the victim without provoking the attacker. They also remind you to respect the wishes of the person
being attacked. They may want further assistance after the attack, but they may also want you to leave them immediately after. Do as they prefer!
When you’re ready to take action, there are many organizations who want your help! Look around and find the best fit for your interests and location. Giving your time is one of the best things you can do to help – we’re all in this together!
Feeling helpless? Do something! Dosomething.org helps you make the world a better place. You can search tons of campaigns to find what works for you. Put some energy into making things better, along with 5.4 million other young people. As they say, “Any cause, anytime, anywhere.”
Youth protest is an important part of our history, and our future! ADL lists ten ideas you can do to participate. Make your voice and opinion heard, know and exercise your rights!
Other general civil rights organizations you might want to know about:
10 ways youth can engage in activism. (n.d.). Retrieved from http://www.adl.org/education-outreach/curriculum-resources/c/10-ways-youth-can-engage-in.html
20 books to inspire social change. (2016, November 10). Retrieved from http://www.yalsa.ala.org/thehub/2016/11/10/20-books-inspire-social-change/
An open letter to dosomething.org members and young people everywhere. (2016, November 9). Retrieved from https://blog.dosomething.org/an-open-letter-to-dosomething-org-members-and-young-people-everywhere-8f6af95b59fe
Dear future President. (n.d.). Retrieved from https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLXQ-B69QR-5Pw7zyHopmZGtEZFCQBcxZf
Dryfuss, E. (2016, November 10). The critical role of self-care for handling post-election stress. Retrieved from https://www.wired.com/2016/11/critical-role-self-care-handling-post-election-stress/
Ferguson, D. (2016, November 9). Mental health resources if you are struggling to cope with Trump’s win. Retrieved from https://www.rawstory.com/2016/11/heres-a-list-of-mental-health-resources-if-you-are-struggling-today-to-cope-with-trumps-win/
Fox, A., Kirschner, R., & Verdick, E. (2005). Too stressed to think?: A teen guide to staying sane when life makes you crazy. Minneapolis, MN: Free Spirit Pub.
Maeril. (September, 2016). What to do if you are witnessing Islamophobic harassment. Retrieved from http://maeril.tumblr.com/image/149669302551
McNamara, B. (2016, November 9). How to cope with fear after the Presidential election. Retrieved from http://www.teenvogue.com/story/how-to-cope-with-fear-after-the-presidential-election
Nealon, M. (2011, January 20). Religious tolerance booklist. Retrieved from https://www.nypl.org/blog/2011/01/20/religions-and-tolerance
Rosenberg, E. (2016, November 10). Manhattan subway passage becomes emotional outlet after election. Retrieved from http://www.nytimes.com/2016/11/11/nyregion/subway-notes-offer-a-form-of-therapy.html
Responding to bigotry and harassment. (n.d.). Retrieved from http://www.theworldisaterribleplace.com/ohcrap/responding-to-bigotry-and-harassment/
Speak up: responding to everyday bigotry. (2015, January 25). Retrieved from https://www.splcenter.org/20150126/speak-responding-everyday-bigotry
The sun comes up. (n.d.). Retrieved from https://www.thisamericanlife.org/radio-archives/episode/602/the-sun-comes-up
Supporting youth in the post-2016 election climate. (n.d.). Retrieved from http://wikis.ala.org/yalsa/index.php/Supporting_Youth_in_the_Post-2016_Election_Climate
What to do if your rights are violated at a demonstration or protest. (n.d.). Retrieved from https://www.aclu.org/know-your-rights/what-do-if-your-rights-are-violated-demonstration-or-protest</a