Grad school was transformative and amazing but also, my word, so emotionally and mentally brutal. So I thought I would share a few of the things that helped me get through it in case you’re going through something transformative and brutal as well.
1. Bob’s Burgers : I work with a lot of patients who have experienced trauma and as a result I have no desire to watch anything dramatic when I get home. But even on my heaviest days, Bob’s Burgers made me laugh and that made all the difference. See also, Parks and Rec, The Simpsons, and Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt.
2. Henry Doorly Zoo : Y’all, Omaha has one of the best zoos in the United States. And that’s not just my opinion, it’s like, ranked and stuff. Watching animals and seeing children get so excited never failed to remind me that life can be full of joy and to be fully present during those joyful moments. Captain Thoughtful and I visited so often we finally became members and I fully expect an exhibit to be named after me soon. Side note: It is also a very hilly long walk so bonus you get a good glute workout! Good for the mind good for the buns.
3. Romance novels : Read Sarah MacLean, Tessa Dare, Julia Quinn, Lisa Kelypas, Victoria Alexander, and Kirsten Callahan y’all. These are talented writers who write interesting characters (particularly sassy clever female characters) who meet their matches and have happy endings. Sometimes you need a happy ending in a book and there is nothing wrong with that. Every book was a delight.
4. Empowering playlist: Beyonce featured heavily and whenever I was feeling low or overwhelmed I would just get my ass in Formation.
5. Captain Thoughtful: I know not everyone has a Captain Thoughtful but I hope you all have at least one person in your life who is as supportive, encouraging, validating, hilarious, and kind as Captain Thoughtful is. I often tell my patients how important a support system is and I think they kind of roll their eyes and minimize it but y’all SUPPORT SYSTEMS ARE IMPORTANT. Not to solve your problems or minimize them but to sit alongside you, pour you a glass of your preferred beverage, hold your hand while you ugly cry, and then watch a marathon of RuPaul’s Drag Race with you.
Feel free to share things that have helped you cope with the transformative and brutal times in your life in the comments y’all.
Also – why does spellcheck keep underlining transformative? That’s a word spellcheck. Trust me, I’m a therapist.