Better Uses of Precious Time on Election Night

I don’t plan on watching anything related to election returns tomorrow or for the next several days. Wolf Blitzer, keep your breaking news beeps to yourself!

And if you think you’re going to need copious amounts of alcohol or anxiety meds to get through the night, you need to shut your TV off, put your laptop away, and hide your phone. Don’t assault your liver or your brain.

So, what can you do instead? I have a few ideas.

Cook an Amazing Meal
No, not a boxed Old El Paso taco kit (though if you love that, carry on!). Find recipes (or turn to trusted ones) for a four-course meal: Appetizer, Salad, Entrée, Dessert. Spend the evening cooking it and set the table for a nice dinner. Even if it is for one! Turn on music you love, relax, nourish, and indulge yourself.

Spa Night
Take a long and luxurious bubble bath with bath salts (of the bathing variety, thank you very much), facial scrubs and masks, scented candles, and turn on a movie that will make you laugh. Or go the music variety and hit up a spa playlist on Spotify. If you have a non-political favorite podcast, cue it up and enjoy it!

Bake Fest
Is it the best idea to drown your worries or anger in a pan of brownies? Not really, but these are desperate times. But you can bake brownies or cookies, or some other favorite treat to share with others. Wrap them in little cellophane baggies and drop them off for neighbors and friends as an unexpected treat and all-around kind gesture.

Netflix and Favorite Comfort Food
Order in any treat meal you desire and watch something that has nothing to do with politics or the state of the United States of America in 2020. So no, you cannot watch Outbreak, Contagion, World War Z, I am Legend, and especially not The Handmaid’s Tale. But I do have some suggestions:

Somebody Feed Phil (travel and food with an all-round nice human being)
The Great British Bake Off (just good times, stunning baking, Britain)
Emily in Paris (full of cliché, great fashion, and food, just fun)
My Octopus Teacher (sigh. Get your Kleenex out)
Crash Landing Into You (This is a long-haul K-drama. You will go down the rabbit hole)
The Big Family Cooking Showdown (British, families, foodie battles)
Challenger: The Final Flight (not light-hearted, but kids of the 80s all remember this)
The Office (Do yourself a favor and commit to the enigma that is Dwight Schrute)

This list by no means even scratches the surface, and we haven’t even touched Prime, Hulu, and HBO Max. But you get what I mean. And yes, my list is clearly tinged with my preferences, but I’m sure you’ll find something good to distract yourself.

Workout, Audiobook and Go to Bed
Get a long workout in and go to bed early. Bonus treat: download a free audiobook from “Libby,” which is a digital book borrowing service linked to your local public library. So, if you have a library card, you’re set. Find an audiobook and tuck in like someone is telling you a story. Please, for the love of all that is holy, don’t audiobook Fear or Rage, or Melania and Me, or anything related to the election. Just find a good story and get lost in it. By all means, read a hard copy if you prefer.

Tuesday Night Bible Study or Book Club
If you’ve got like-minded friends involved in Bible study or book club virtually, don’t cancel. Carry on as normal. Maybe make it extra-long. Go heavy on the prayer session, actually.

Just a few things to help you through. Repeat as needed, for as long as needed. We’re all in this together.

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