Things that have helped me tremendously the last few months
The last few months were really, really hard, you guys. I was in a tough spot. I completed the hardest thing I've ever done (an 8-wk intensive outpatient program for PTSD), had a breakup, changed jobs, and moved all in the span of a few months. All of this challenged me in ways I could never have imagined, but I got through it. Here's what helped.
- •Working outI was so depressed before treatment that I pretty much stopped working out altogether. Ever since the end of March, I work out 4x a week. When I lived in NYC, that meant Row House 2x/week and MonsterCycle 2x/week. Now that I'm in Westchester for the summer, it means Pilates 1x/week, Bikram yoga 1x/week, and spin class 2x/week. I balance hardcore training with more low-key exercise (yoga, Pilates) because when working through PTSD, high-intensity exercise can kick in a fight or flight response.
- •A writing routineI write every weekday morning from 6:30am to 8am. No excuses. I give myself weekends off. @sophiack and I hold each other accountable and text each other to make sure we're both on track with our daily writing goals. ❤
- •SmoothiesDuring the first month of treatment, PTSD effects made me really nauseous and unable to eat. Sometimes if I was having trouble eating, I'd make a Gnarly Vegan smoothie. It's an easy way to make sure I'm getting enough nutrition. I like the Gnarly Vegan brand because their smoothie is pea protein-based, which is easier for the body to digest than crap like rice protein or whey.
- •CannabisI kicked the Ambien (for the most part) and rely on medical marijuana to help me sleep. 😴
- •Seeing friendsWhen I was in the thick of it, I made sure I had something scheduled practically every night. My friends are amazing. I'm looking atchu, @vp, @dave, @sophiack, @shanaz, @olive and all the other people who picked up the phone, wrote back an email, or cried over some rosè (shut up—I like candy-flavored alcohol) with me.
- •Throwing shit outMoving helped me purge so much stuff. It felt great.
- •ReadingI've read more books in the last few months than I had in a while. Rediscovering the pleasure I find in reading has been paramount. I've read Jessica Valenti's "Sex Object," Meghan Daum's "My Misspent Youth," Rupi Kaur's "Milk and Honey," and more! I recommend them all.
- •Listening to musicThe best medicine includes singing along to Otis Redding, The Temptations, Barrett Strong, Stevie Wonder, etc etc. (I'm a big Motown and soul kinda gal.)
- •AcupunctureMy acupuncturist is based in NYC, does acupuncture AND massage for an hour and a half at $60 a pop and, no, I will not give you their contact info because this individual is a TREASURE AND MY BEST-KEPT SECRET.
- •Having a therapist who includes heart emojis in her email responsesFun fact: the woman who helped me commit to eating disorder recovery ten years ago helped me through this really hard time in my life. She knows me better than anyone.
- •Getting a tattoo!Here she is in all her glory. I believe in getting tattoos that mark periods of personal growth or discovery in one's life. I decided on lily of the valley because it dies and comes back to life every year, is very beautiful, is also poisonous (😈), and only grows in the wild.
- •Building a website (MsDanaHamilton.com)Pulling together all of my clips showed me, wow, I'm actually pretty good at this writing thing. I've made a career I should be proud of, not intimidated by. I don't have any room for imposter syndrome in my life anymore. #girlbye
- •Creating a plan to travel the country all of next year.A plan that my literary agent and day job both approve of! I kick off this insane one-woman road trip in October. If you live in Boston, Savannah, Austin, Boulder, or Portland, give me recommendations! 💪🏻
- •Having a totally bizarre and exciting one-night stand the night before I moved with someone I used to hook up with 2 years ago (who is still incredibly kind and super interesting and gorgeous af)Safe, consensual, no strings fun with someone who isn't a stranger and I trust = exactly what I needed. Couldn't resist texting my best friend the next day. Your girl is back and better than ever. ✌🏻