After the election was called in the early hours of November 9 (and in the hours that followed), I've settled into a holding pattern wavering between utter disbelief and numbness.
Social media is filled with heartbreak and sadness.
The people on my subway platform are doing their best to avoid eye contact, and it's hard to have a conversation that doesn't come to a screeching halt when the topic of the presidential election inevitably comes up.
It's clear we can't go on like this forever, and it's important to remember we won't.
As Aaron Sorkin wrote in a letter to his daughter and wife published in Vanity Fair last week,
America didn't stop being America last night, and we didn't stop being Americans and here's the thing about Americans: Our darkest days have always -- always -- been followed by our finest hours.
But how do we get from these darkest days to those finest hours?
Long term, if you're feeling exceptionally put off by the events of last week, get involved in your local government scene.
I'm not saying you should run for office, but be more vocal in standing up for what you believe is right.
In the short term, if what you're looking for is a reason to feel slightly better about humanity and you aren't really getting any satisfaction from the overabundance of crappy dog videos and articles highlighting cheap tickets out of the country, I highly recommend getting yourself immersed in a different sort of politics -- the fictional kind.
Through video games, TV, movies, comics and books, you can distract yourself in a way that not only takes your mind off the cable news cycle, but will also perhaps make you think through the next four years in a way you hadn't thought possible.
Here's a quick rundown of five things to check out in order to tear yourself away from what can't be changed (and, frankly, entertain yourself) without feeling like you're slogging through meaninglessness.
1. Make your own America in Civilization VI.
Civilization VI came out this past October, and even if you've never touched a single game in the series, it's easy to dive right in and begin creating.
It's a super helpful way to understand what it takes to make a country run both politically and economically while still playing an incredibly addictive (and fun) game.
2. Read Margaret Atwood's "The Handmaid's Tale."
Set in a future where a totalitarian theocracy has overthrown the government, Atwood explores the effects of extreme governance and policy on women in North America.
It's worth noting the book came out of the fanatical rightwing talk of the '80s, so it feels exceptionally spot on right now.
3. Binge all seven seasons of "The West Wing."
One of the best TV series ever made is more relevant now than ever.
From empty Supreme Court seats to sickness in the White House, "The West Wing" covers everything we've been working through over the last year.
Oh, and it may help renew your faith in the political system, too.
4. Read the collected editions of "Ex Machina" and "V for Vendetta."
Graphic novels are often the easiest entry into a hard topic, and these two exceptionally fantastic series help color what the outcome of an action can be on a political level.
5. Watch "Idiocracy."
This movie wasn't actually about politics, but it became about them.
As Mike Judge said earlier this week,
'Idiocracy' is more a critique on society than of politics, but damn is it spot on right now.
The cult classic film reached peak relevancy earlier this year, but it can serve as a helpful entry point into deconstructing what exactly went wrong in 2016.