We miss you, Olivia!
ABC

You know that commercial break that happens right before the last seven minutes of each episode of Scandal? The one that makes you want to yell or throw a shoe at the TV screen because you believe that the suspense might actually kill you? Well, for some of us, Scandal’s 10-week-long winter hiatus feels just like that last commercial break, and we’re yelling (hopefully, just in our heads), “I might not make it!!”

Die-hard Scandal-heads—the ones who might pull a fire alarm and make a break for it if they’re still stuck at work when Scandal is about to come on—might be experiencing symptoms of withdrawal like mood swings, anxiety, irritability and/or restlessness as we try to figure out what the heck to do with ourselves until we find out, “Who kidnapped Olivia Pope??”

Well, here are three key tips for surviving the Scandal winter hiatus:

1. Wean yourself off Scandal slowly.

Advertisement

Do not go cold turkey. Rewatch some of the most recent episodes from this season and look for clues that you missed, like “Oooh, Olivia was wearing all black in that scene!” Perhaps reread Scandal recaps from this season to keep the plots fresh in your mind. Or you can save this wordle full of all of this season’s most memorable buzzwords to your desktop and play “guess the reference.” You can also just rub it from time to time when you need strength. 

2. Distract yourself by staying busy. 

If you factor in the time you spend …

* preparing to watch Scandal (e.g., shopping for wine, straightening up your house for a watch party, bribing your significant other or roommate to read a book or watch TV in another room while Scandal is on, etc.);

* actually watching Scandal (sometimes two or three times in a row); and/or

* debriefing about Scandal (e.g., tweeting about the episode, reading tweets about the episode, reading recaps, debating with your friends about what actually happened and researching where to buy Olivia’s purse or coat)

Advertisement

… that’s an average of three hours (a conservative estimate) dedicated to Scandal every week.

That means that by the time Scandal returns in January, you will have had 27 extra hours to get your whole life together! 

OK, maybe not your whole life, but you can at least put together a to-do list of things that need to get done in what’s left of 2014 to get your life somewhat together and maybe also draft a wish list for 2015. 

Advertisement

Use this time to get caught up on life. And if you still have time after you’re all caught up (I’m jealous in advance, by the way), use the rest of the time to get ahead!

You could also watch an entire season of another series on Netflix. Write a handwritten letter to a grandparent. Pick up a hobby. Take an improv class. Volunteer for a community-service project. Perfect a new recipe. Update your LinkedIn profile. Or maybe even just relax. Me, myself, personally, I hate talking on the phone, but I’m committing to thinking about perhaps, maybe returning one phone call or catching up with a loved one on the phone every Thursday night. 

3. Connect with like-minded people for support.

Join a Facebook group for Scandal fans. Follow Olivia Pope and her associates (the actors who play them) on Twitter, see what they’ve been up to and find out when they’re giving interviews. Josh Malina, who plays David Rosen, has one of the funniest timelines on all of Twitter. Better yet, you could combine Tip No. 2 and Tip No. 3 by hosting a wine tasting for friends so that you have your selection of reds ready for Scandal’s return. 

Advertisement

Whatever you do, remember to take it one day at a time, my friends. Scandal will be back before you know it (Jan. 29, to be exact).

What creative ways have you come up with to cope with Scandal withdrawal?

Akilah Green is a recovering Washington, D.C., lawyer-lobbyist-politico turned TV and film writer and producer living in Los Angeles. She currently works for Chelsea Handler’s Netflix talk show, Chelsea. She has also worked as a staff writer for Kevin Hart’s production company, HartBeat Productions, and as a consultant for Real Time With Bill Maher on HBO. In addition, she co-wrote and is producing Scratch, an indie horror-comedy feature film, and is a regular contributor to The Root. Follow Green’s adventures in La La Land on her blog, Twitter and Facebook.