Donald Trump sucks, right? He’s odious and terrible and he Trumps everything up like whoa.
It’s easy to get depressed when the noxious shadow of a nasty toddler-man who has neither the teeniest bit of impulse control nor awareness of anything outside of his own interests looms over us. He is a human trigger warning surrounded by a bunch of lackeys in the form of advisors, professional babysitters and political allies who mostly see him as a handy distraction that allows them to loot and pillage while the getting is good. Despite this Trumping up of our world, though, I have to believe that all hope is not lost. With a little creativity and resourcefulness, we can Un-Trump it and un-Trump it for real this time. Because, let’s face it, we can’t let ourselves off the hook for the fact that the world was not exactly going in a positive direction before he became president. I mean, you know, people actually voted for him. There were and are a lot of very Trumpy attitudes and conditions that we can’t blame squarely on him. We can start to fix it, though, starting today.
Honestly, we could be in the dawn of a new age, and you could be a big part of it. Here are a few ideas to get you started…
1. Plant a garden. If you don’t have a yard, join a community garden or just grow some herbs in your windows. Don’t forget fire escape plants.
2. Do you have a front yard that’s not doing much but growing grass? Transform it into a free-for-everyone garden smorgasbord and be part of a movement that can help reduce hunger and increase access to nutritious foods in your community with the resources from the Food is Free Project. Or do you have a bumper crop of produce? (How much zucchini can one person eat?) (Yes, I know zucchini bread but come on!) Set up a card table with a cute little sign and let your neighbors know that it’s for the taking.
3. Minimize your purchasing of plastic. One simple strategy: bring your own reusable containers for bulk foods and bags — including bags for produce — to the grocery store.
4. Speaking of, bringing your own containers for leftovers when you eat out, along with packing stainless straws, mugs and reusable cutlery when you’re out in the world, is a great way to minimize waste and Un-Trump the world.
5. Trump hates the Black Lives Matter movement, which means, of course, that you should wear a BLM button wherever you go and join their events.
6. Brush up on your recycling skills for your household and find the best recycling center near you. Localities differ so familiarize yourself with how it works by you.
7. Want to help reverse the Trump legacy of tenant exploitation? Get trained in and volunteer for a tenants’ rights hotline. (This is a Chicago-based organization but many urban areas have their own tenants’ rights groups.) There are also Fair Housing volunteering opportunities in many communities. Seriously, Trump’s real estate developer father was such a racist lowlife that Woody Guthrie, a one-time tenant, wrote a song about him in 1950.
8. Create art: from sidewalk chalk to paint, pottery to macramé, art is the antidote to dull authoritarianism.
9. Write a letter — or send a thoughtful message — to someone who has been really meaningful in your life. Be vulnerable. Tell them what they have meant to you. Send it.
10. Make plans with friends. Don’t break them.
11. Commit to your own happiness first. Put the oxygen mask on yourself first and then you are able to help others.
12. If you’re ready, make a lifetime commitment to a homeless animal at a shelter.
13. Shop less; thrift more.
14. Go vegan. Eating animals is tyrannical, unnecessary, cruel and dooming to future generations.
15. Become active with a Buy Nothing group near you or start one.
16. Host a potluck.
17. You know one of the best ways to Un-Trump the world? Laugh. Trump never laughs and he has no discernable sense of humor. A sense of humor is essential for mental health always but especially in these troubling times. Watch the funniest movie you know, hang out with your uproariously hilarious bestie, revisit memories that are sure to have you in stitches and laugh, baby, laugh.
18. Organize a trash pick-up day in your neighborhood.
19. Get all your members of Congress on your phone and call those suckas.
20. You can send up to five free faxes to your members of Congress each day, too. Just write your message on the cover letter and hit send.
21. Show up at their town hall meetings, too.
22. Do free yoga.
23. Buy an indoor plant or two. Plan on keeping it alive.
24. Walk, bike or take public transit more, drive less.
25. Aim for at least 30 minutes of exercise a day; find movement that you love.
26. Donate your produce scraps to a local composter or community garden if you can’t or don’t compost yourself.
27. Go through deputy registrar training so you can register people to vote. Communities across the country have free trainings.
28. Remember to smile at cashiers, servers, sales clerks, etc. It just takes a moment and it can brighten someone’s day.
29. Aromatherapy can help lift your mood and make you feel less Trumpy. Try one of these blends.
30. Tackle your clutter and donate to resale shops, especially those with a charitable and progressive mission like Chicago’s Brown Elephant.
31. Take a 24-hour fast of complaining. Ugh, it’s a challenge, I know.
33. Don’t take yourself so damn seriously. You know who takes himself way too seriously? Yes, you do. He’s gross.
34. Donate to NARAL or Planned Parenthood post-haste.
35. Have a friend or neighbor who is a caregiver? Offer to pick up groceries and drop them off the next time you go.
36. Take an anti-racist workshop.
37. Do you know someone who is elderly, sick, depressed or disabled and could use some help with walking, feeding, or bathing his or her companion animal? The love of a companion animal is an invaluable gift for those who have challenges but only if they are not overwhelmed by their care.
38. Or can you just help around the house, weeding the garden, sorting mail, etc.?
39. Make sure you don’t get dehydrated. I find keeping my favorite mug at my desk to be the perfect reminder. If you’re dizzy and tired, how are you going to foment the new world order? Revisit #11 if you must.
40. Make your own housecleaning products to reduce your use of chemicals, save money and buy less wasteful packaging.
41. Call an old friend you don’t talk to often enough and spend an hour or two catching up.
42. Listen to your favorite music and have a dance party! You know how much Trump would hate that? Lots!
43. Pay for an online subscription to the news outlets you trust to help support quality traditional and independent journalism.
44. Watch a documentary or two to become better educated about important subjects.
45. Perhaps the most Un-Trumpian thing you could do? Write a heartfelt apology to someone you have wronged even in the distant past. Expect nothing in return. Living or dead, it doesn’t matter: just apologize.
46. Have you found yourself being petty, small-minded and resentful? When I get like this, I know it’s time to reestablish my practice of keeping a gratitude journal and write in it every night. Yes, it may feel hokey at first but it works. The practice of building awareness of the things we should be grateful for causes us to not only notice the positive things that happen more in our daily lives and appreciate them but I believe that it also compels us to create more opportunities worthy of gratitude, which seriously Un-Trumps the world. This is a good primer.
46. When you find yourself feeling reactive, slow down and begin to feel your heart beat. Feel your pulse manually if that helps at first and then begin to sense it without feeling it with your fingers. This will slow you down and bring you back to the present moment.
47. Plant native species flora if you have a garden.
48. Also, grow lots of plants that also are beneficial to pollinators.
49. Spend the day in nature and leave your phone at home. You can do it. I believe in you.
50. Raise your children to be feminists: yes, boys, too, because not only is feminism about equality at the end of the day — so they should be for it — a patriarchal framework is limiting to and diminishing of everyone. Check out this post and longer book by the glorious Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie for inspiration. Oh, feminists really Un-Trump the world. Don’t have children? Good on you! Mentor your nieces, nephews and neighborhood kids.
51. Are you a dude and do you do a lot of interrupting? Seriously, stop it. It’s Trumpy.
52. Get familiar with what mansplaining is and stop doing it. STAT.
53. And while we’re on the topic of gross things: manspreading is gross and also Trumpy.
54. The next time it’s been raining, put on your rain boots and splash in some puddles. Serious fun!
55. Do your daily activism. For serious.
56. Read, read, read and then read some more. Books are a powerful antiserum against Trump.
57. Leave fresh water out for the birds.
58. When was the last time you rolled down a hill (on purpose!), swung on a swing, made a dandelion crown, watched the clouds, had a lemonade stand, played hopscotch, ran through a sprinkler, skipped down the sidewalk, played duck-duck-goose or Marco Polo? Reconnect with your childhood joys to deflect toxic Trumpiness.
59. Live in a progressive district? Lucky you! Help out others who aren’t so fortunate by getting active with Swing Left and help to swing the 2018 Congressional election.
60. Give at least one person a heartfelt, sincere compliment out of the blue. Expect nothing in return.
61. Forgive at least one person. “Resentment is like drinking poison and then hoping it will kill your enemies.” Attributed to Nelson Mandela.
62. Learn a new language.
63. Shrink your water footprint.
64. Vow to do no harm but take no shit.
65. Stay alive, awake, tuned in, pissed off and full of grace.