It's Election Day in America and everyone's got an opinion. I've spent the last few months encouraging my friends and family to get their votes in early by mail, so that they could avoid the madness of November 3rd. Pandemic stress on top of political stress in addition to your daily life is a LOT for anybody to manage. Remember, even if you're not directly affected by COVID-19, the impact of the pandemic is taking a toll on you, and you may feel exhausted or overwhelmed for "no reason." Don't beat yourself up or wonder why you're frustrated when you think you shouldn't be, because you SHOULD be, 2020 is hard and it's most certainly OK for you to have feelings about it.

Consider avoiding social media today, definitely DO NOT doom scroll for hours, and try to take 15 minutes to do something for yourself today. Even if it's just a little cat nap or mindfully listening to your favorite songs without multitasking. Just listen, and breathe, and know that no matter what happens this week, good things are still going on in your community. In fact, here are 6 awesome things to make you smile right now.

  • The Poverello Center's annual 'Pumpkins for the Pov' promotion sold more pumpkins than ever in this pandemic year, raising around $32,000 for our local homeless shelter.
  • Missoula's YWCA has met their fundraising goal of $8 million to build The Meadowlark. $8,190,340 from local donors will go to building a family crisis shelter.
  • The U of M Honors Student Association and pharmacy students 1337 pounds of food during their "Trick-or-Treat So Missoula Eats" Food Drive for the Missoula Food Bank.
  • All Nations Health Center is giving away free boxes of produce and flu shots in their parking lot today from 3:30 to 5:30 p.m.
  • Missoula's first Panera Bread restaurant is opening on Monday at the location in front of Target on Reserve.
  • BONUS Good News: not local, but it's sure as heck keeping my mental health stable. Foo Fighters are releasing their 10th studio album with a brand new song coming to your radio on Tuesday, November 10th!