On Friday, President Donald Trump officially took over the Oval Office and many people are very, very scared. And really, they probably should be. Trump won the election by promising isolationist foreign policy, hiring advisors who appeal to white supremacists, and choosing a running mate, Vice President Mike Pence, who has a history of voting against women's health and LGBTQ rights. Things are going to change. But don't despair — get busy. Because there are tons of small ways you can resist the Trump administration's messages that will not only help marginalized communities that will suffer, but also distract you and make sure you have an outlet for negativity and fear.
Remember that Martin Luther King Jr. quote, "hate is too big a burden to bear," every time you get stressed or start to get in a Twitter fight with someone you don't know, and stick with love and do some good. It's also OK to stick to small moves of resistance. You don't have to uproot your family and camp out in front of the White House, spend all of your savings on donations to Planned Parenthood, or go to law school so you can work for the ACLU (unless you want to, of course), and change your entire life. Here are a few small things you can do to resist hate from the start.
Practice Good Social Media Habits
It's tempting to want to bury your head in the sand and deactivate Facebook. But hiding from people who disagree with you and staying in your bubble are, quite frankly, what got us here in the first place. Verify your news sources. Don't just rant all the time. Every time there is an action from his administration think, "what are the real world implications of this policy," and then explain it to people. Don't fight with people in the comments, but do call them on their fake news and give them the real stuff. (Try not to think too hard about if it will get through to them.)
Rethink Your Gifts
You can set up small, monthly donations to organizations that support the groups — immigrants, LGBTQ, women — Trump's Administration will target. But instead of giving your neighbor a candle or some fancy soap, try to buy merchandise from those same organizations. There are some charities that self stuff that doesn't have a political message, like these ones that support women's causes, so even if your friend is pro-Trump they'll never have to know that t-shirt you bought them supports a LGBTQ entrepreneur. Which is sneaky, but also somehow very satisfying.
Call And Email And Reach Out
It's hard to make it to rallies and meetings when you're busy with work and your kids — don't feel guilty. But stay up on your state (and your local district) representatives and how they're voting. The best way to get in their way is to be there in person and hold them accountable, but emailing and calling work, too. Get on the record. Here's how you find your representative's contact info.
If You See Something, Say Something
If you see someone being discriminated against or harassed in public, step in. Stay safe (these are some great tips), but offer your help and solidarity.
Set Aside A Day To Volunteer
Pick a local charity and make volunteering biweekly or monthly a thing you and your family does together. You don't have to save the world, but even the tiniest things — even picking up litter in the park with your church — does something, and your kids will learn that sometimes you have get your hands dirty.
Register For The Midterms
The midterm elections will take place in two years, and that is the time for millennials to take back the House and the Senate. Start learning about your local representatives now. Read your local news. Seriously, subscribe to a local paper online or on the web (make sure it's reputable). Then, in about a year, figure out how to get involved to help your candidate in the midterms.
There are lots of ways to support the people who will be hurt the most by the Trump Administration's messages, so make your voice heard. Get creative and stay generous and determined — don't fall asleep now because this is just the beginning.