Pause while you’re in Paris
After the shocking results of the Presidential Election in the USA, we have been left reeling. I think MLP can speak for a high proportion of the community here in Paris, when I say that people are feeling bruised, battered and exhausted emotionally by the news and the implications of the result. It’s almost too much to take in, as we try and make sense of it all. So as we are hovering by the trigger of our fight or flight mode – let’s think about how we can just take a step back and a deep breath, whilst we consider our options. Here are a few useful ways you can wind down your mind as you search for clarity.
In moments like this, it can help to take a moment to appreciate people who have gone before us and made a difference in the world. Game changing individuals who have used whatever resources at their disposal to be a force for good, however big or small. MLP suggests indulging in stories displayed in museums or other cultural centres in the city right now.
Go see Colour Line, the History Expo of African Americans at the Quai Branley or the Oscar Wilde expo at the Petite Palais. Get tickets to see a show from a wonderful writer like Charles Dickens – book Oliver Twist as a family treat. Go to the Musee d’Orsay, The Louvre. Wander into Shakespeare and Co and flick through some books that changed lives and will leave you feeling inspired!
Down tools Mama! Turn off social media and CNN! Resist re-watching clips on YouTube and change your setting. It’s just too easy to be drawn into watching every news item and the latest burst of commentary on any one of your handy devices! Throw on your garms and escape the house, put your phone on airplane mode if you can, and take in a movie at one of the many picture houses in Gay Paree. See an oldie, a tear jerker, whatever floats your boat – but it will at least momentarily distract you from US/Global politics for a while. Find out what’s on in English at your local picture house. Check out the film review website Rotten Tomatoes for ideas! Captain Fantastic is excellent by the way!
3. Retail Therapy
You don’t have to go crazy but it’s so true what they say! A little retail therapy goes a long way to making yourself feel better. Even if it’s just a look around the shops to see what’s there, why not treat yourself to something? More often that not just venturing into the stores and having a good mooch is fun in itself and you will soon stop thinking about you know who for a while.
The Christmas displays in some of the big Paris stores are ideal for a visit right now and some have fun interactive spaces for kids- so go explore.
4. Fresh Air
Autumn in Paris is beautiful. The crispy golden leaves falling to the ground and the sun brightening the skies on crisp fresh days. Perfect conditions to take a stroll through the city of light. Even Hillary had to take to the woods in her search for clarity.
Find a tranquil spot! A park, a square, perhaps the garden bridge, or maybe a river bank! You know you are spoilt for choice in this beautiful city. You could even take the Batobus and sail around the Seine for an hour. Head to a place where you can be closer to nature and take a leisurely walk to clear your head.
MLP is not suggesting for a minute that you dispense with the obligatory wine glass and instead just use a straw as you consume your favourite bottle of red! But this is France and the wine is really good! Visit one of those independent specialist wine shops and experiment with something new to tantalise your tastebuds and enjoy with friends, partners, loved ones. Vent and try to relax.
If yoga is your thing, then great! If it isn’t, then this could be the perfect moment get started or at least discover your nearest yogi centre so you can just down tools and chill! Book yourself a massage, take a class, wander into your nearest Hammam for a sauna and body scrub – get those stresses momentarily relieved in a relaxing environment where it’s all about you! Try the Hammam at The Mosque in the 5th.
7. Make-Over your Blues
Pop into a makeup store and get a free mini makeover! Or book a session with your local manicurist to get your nails done. So you might not need it, so what! It just feels good to be spoilt especially when you have a dose of the blues. Think about having a pedi too – there is literally a salon on every corner in Paris, so it shouldn’t be too difficult to find a place. Do it Mama! Try Free Persephone run by an amazing American Expat!
8. Get Spiritual
When you are doing some serious soul-searching there are a few places you can find to take time out.
You don’t have to be religious to appreciate the gorgeous churches in Paris – from Sainte Chappelle to St Germain des Pres and Sacre Coeur – they are just calming and beautiful spots in the city where you can collect your thoughts.
Get together with some of your favourite people and plan a fun day, moment or evening out. Dinner, cocktail bars, lunch at a fun resto, coffee at a chic café à Paris! Climb the Eiffel Tower together, seek solace at the top of Sacre Coeur it’s pretty spiritual up there! Just the planning alone will be uplifting and shift your mood into a positive space and it will give you something to look forward too. There are so many things to do this Autumn in Paris.
10. A day off the calorie count
There are just too many delicious cake shops in Paris and seriously, although this is not a long-term solution to our feeling of malaise, it’s a lovely treat when you’re in Paris. Oooohhhh those eclairs and yummily designed mini gateaux aren’t just great to look at right? From Laduree to Boulangerie La Parisienne there are a veritable feast of options and, it’s sooooooo Parisian!
On a personal note, MLP has found the recent news utterly devastating for the same reason as every other progressive liberal thinker out there. At times, MLP has almost felt bereft by the news. There sadly is no hard fast solution to the state of the world right now, but clarity can often bring about inspiration, that will help us take on the challenge going forward.
Admittedly I am looking at my kids right now, thinking how I can teach them to grow with knowledge and wisdom, so they can be prepared to educate the ignorant and truly make a positive difference in this world. I so want them to know their history and be a force for all things good as they prepare for the challenge of ideologies that lies ahead. No pressure kids! Gotta go as they are about to recite Martin Luther Kings Jr’s ‘I have a dream’ speech to me!
Extending loving arms around all the Americans in our community who are feeling it right now. Please take some time out for yourself to help gain perspective.
PS: Michael Moore”s 5 point plan to handle the news is spreading like wild-fire! Check it out.