Post-election wind down

Nov 5, 2020 | by Maia Welbel

illustration of boiling kettle, tea cup, incense, and plant

Illustration by Hawnuh Lee.

Hello friends, how are you holding up today?

As I write this, votes are being counted, and I’m longing for an end to the uncertainty and fear. This time feels dissociative to me, like I’m performing the actions of my life but not really experiencing the present moment. My thoughts are racing through the past and bracing for the future. I’m not feeling the emotions that I usually associate with whatever task or environment is at hand. It’s all blended into a malaise, impossible to parse into personal anxieties, rational fears, and existential dread. 

Please know that, however you’re feeling, you are not alone. Closed Loop Cooking is here to hold space for conversations about food, our planet, and the people who inhabit it, and we recognize that many of those people will be and have always been disproportionately vulnerable to abuse by the systems we’re trying to change. If there is any way we can support you right now — whether it’s an herbal tea recommendation, a TikTok chef thirst trap, or just words of encouragement — please don’t hesitate to reach out. 

One thing I can be certain of is that seeking joy and tending to our own needs is more important than ever in such strife-ridden moments. We’ve put together a collection — a care package if you will — of resources and practices keeping us afloat that we hope will help you care for yourself as well.

Take only what you need. 

Leaning into this missive from our friends at Loam:

Remember: At no point is it too late to show up. It will not be too late today and it will not be too late tomorrow, or ever, because the work we are committed to is oriented in deep time. Studies have shown that even a seed that is 1000 years old can still germinate if the conditions are right. The centuries-old struggles for liberation that we are STILL fighting for are our inheritance to hold but so too is the love & resilience of our ancestors. Which is to say: continue to do what you can with EVERYTHING you have to make sure that the conditions in our interconnected communities are ripe for growth.

Simple cozy nourishment:

This minimum-effort / maximum-delicious Coconut Tofu recipe from Catherine aka Plant Based RD has all the hearty warmth I’m looking for in my meals this week. 

Skincare as self-care:

I love this Vegan Crema from Brujita Skincare — an LA based, Latina owned and operated brand by Leah Guerrero. Sometimes you just need to rub a lovely smelling salve on your face to feel a little better and this one does the trick. 

Questions for self-keeping from our dear Sara Weinreb:

  • What will help protect my nervous system during this time of uncertainty and potential stress? (exercise, rest, napping, herbal tea, chatting with loved ones, journaling, meditation, going for a walk, watching trashy TV…)
  • What can I do for myself that’s super nourishing? (Baking your favorite recipe, taking a bath, restorative yoga…)
  • How can I make space in my schedule to align with what I need this week? If possible.
  • Who do I want to chat with and who do I not want to chat with this week?

More suggestions in her post.

Another crucial question from Rani Ban:

A movement practice:

Allow yourself to indulge in positions of rest. Positioning your body in shapes that feel soothing and effortless signals safety to the nervous system, and can help you move out of fight-or-flight response if it’s not serving you. Here are two of my favorites: 

  • Constructive rest pose: Lie on your back with your knees bent and feet flat on the floor. Place feet out wider than hips distance and allow the knees to knock in towards one another. Soften the muscles in the fronts of the hips. Let one hand rest, palm down, on the low belly and the other rest on the center of your chest. Close your eyes and focus on the sensation of your breath. 
  • Child’s pose: Set up on your hands and knees like a table, move your knees out wider than your hips, then let your hips sink back towards your heels. Stretch your arms out long in front of you, palms face down, and let your forehead rest down. For extra support place a pillow or folded up blanket underneath your forehead and/or between the hips and heels. 

I will be teaching a virtual post-election wind down yoga class Sunday, Nov. 8. at 9am PT / 12pm ET. We’ll focus on grounding and soothing the nervous system. Class is pay-what-you-can (venmo: maia-welbel). All are welcome. Register here!

Plant Magic:

Speaking of soothing, Regina Kanzikas of In Her It Blooms makes beautiful small-batch handcrafted herbal preparations, and her Calm Nervous System collection is available right now. 

Makes me smile:

Leaving you with this video by James Whiteside and Quinn Wharton that I watch whenever I need some cheering up. 

That’s all for now. Be kind to yourself, and remember that you’re doing your best. 

~ Maia 


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