For a lot of Americans, November 9, 2016—the day after the presidential election—was a time of mourning. No, no one died. But the dream of Hillary Clinton becoming the new president of the United States did, and the grief that followed took a lot of work to recover from—especially for Clinton herself.
It turns out,HRC has a lot of wellness-friendly tricks up her sleeve.
Now, Clinton is ready to talk about how she got through those first hours and days after losing the election to Donald Trump in her new book What Happened—and it turns out, HRC has a lot of wellness-friendly tricks up her sleeve. Especially if hard times have you reaching for your running shoes as well as Kleenex , you can probably learn a thing or two from Clinton’s keep-it-moving style.
Here are 10 coping strategies, straight from Hillary Clinton.
Go on long walks through the woods—in sweats
Clinton might not have known her long walks in the woods following the election could be classified as forest bathing, but that’s one of the first ways she de-stressed.
“I didn’t do any hard thinking for the first couple days—I did more walking in the woods. But I was determined that I would recover from the loss,” she said in her podcast, With Her. “I know so many people who have lost so much in their lives and I’m always so impressed and admiring of their resilience—and I’ve been lucky and blessed to have resilience too. I thought I can learn from what my friends and people I admire in history have gone through, but first I just have to put one foot in front of the other, put on some sweats, and get as much rest as I possibly can.”
Give alternate nostril breathing a try
If you haven’t heard of alternate nostril breathing (AKA a type of yoga breathing or pranayama) you might want to give it a try—especially considering Clinton uses the method. According to The Chopra Center, there’s only a handful of steps to follow:
1. Sit up straight and rest your right pointer finger and middle finger between your eyebrows and close your eyes.
2. While keeping your pointer and middle fingers in place, close your right nostril using your thumb, inhaling through the left nostril.
3. Close the left nostril with your ring finger, blocking both nostrils, and briefly hold your breath at the top of your inhale.
4. Take your thumb off your right nostril and breath through the right side, pausing at the bottom of the exhale.
5. Inhale through the right side again, then hold both nostrils closed.
6. Take your finger off your left nostril and breath through the left side, pausing at the bottom. Repeat 5-10 cycles.
Spend time with the people you love
Walking through the woods and practicing new breathing techniques are great ways to clear your head, but no one’s going to help you cope better than your friends and family.
“I believe in summoning your internal resources, and for me that’s my faith, my family, and my friends, and I spent a lot of time immersed in all three,” she says. “I had my friends rallying around: They would call me and say we’re coming to see you whether you want to see us or not. They’d say we’re taking you to the theater whether you want to go or not. We’re sending you books whether you want to read them or not. And my family was great—being around my grandchildren, you can’t help but smile.”
Do some cleaning
Nope, no one’s tricking you into finally Kondo-ing your apartment. To help her relax on Election Day and in the months that followed, Clinton used a tactic that has helped her for as long as she can remember: Deep-cleaning her stress away.
“I hate election days because you’ve done all you can do and you have to wait and you never truly know what’s going to happen,” she says. “After we voted, I do what I do when I feel a little stressed out and I started cleaning out drawers and closets. That’s my go-to relaxation [method] and I love it because there’s a beginning, middle, and end. I did a lot of that after the election.”
Take a nap
Even the most badass girl bosses have mastered the art of the power nap, and getting a little shut-eye during Election Night was Clinton’s way of shutting off—just for a minute. “I could either sit there and yell at the TV, or feel my stomach turning into more and more knots, or just go lie down and wait until we have real information, so that’s what I did,” she says. “I just wanted to lie down and collect myself.”
Count your blessings
When one thing goes wrong in your life, it’s hard to remember all the positives—but doing so is a great way to cope. “I tried to remind myself of all the positive blessings I have in my life and take advantage of that, and by doing so, slowly but surely I was able to rebuild my sense of confidence and hope and energy,” Clinton says.
Do some reading
Step away from your phone. Instead of coping by refreshing your Instagram feed, dust those old books off your shelf that you used to love but haven’t had the time for: “I reread some books that were important to me, some messages I find helpful,” she says.
Write down your feelings
With What Happened, Clinton was able to put her feelings about the election on paper. And even though it was an emotional roller coaster, it was an important step to take. “We began this intensive forced march starting in February to put [the book] together, and it was a painful, exhausting, ultimately cathartic experience which helped me get through all of the aftermath of the election and what Trump was doing every day in Washington,” she says.
Find something you’re passionate about—and put your heart into it
No, Clinton didn’t win the election—but that doesn’t mean she’s going to stop fighting for everything she stands for. In fact, she’s channeling that grief into new energy.
“I will always be deeply sorry I didn’t win. I will always feel a sense of disappointment that I let people down. But I think I understand a lot about what happens and I feel like now we have to throw this into the future and take the lessons I think we can learn and should learn from what happened and make sure it never happens again,” Clinton says. “That energizes me and gets me very focused on what I’m going to do.”
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