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.
  1. Working out
    I 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.
  2. A writing routine
    I 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. ❤
  3. Smoothies
    During 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.
  4. Cannabis
    I kicked the Ambien (for the most part) and rely on medical marijuana to help me sleep. 😴
  5. Seeing friends
    When 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.
  6. Throwing shit out
    Moving helped me purge so much stuff. It felt great.
  7. Reading
    I'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.
  8. Listening to music
    The 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.)
  9. Acupuncture
    My 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.
  10. Having a therapist who includes heart emojis in her email responses
    Fun 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.
  11. 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.
  12. 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
  13. 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! 💪🏻
  14. 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. ✌🏻