My Toolbox

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I implement some of the things in my daily life to cope with my chronic illness and COVID.

Talk Therapy –

I am so grateful for my therapist. I highly recommend finding a therapist that helps you find the tools you need to maintain your mental wellness. I’ve known the joys of telehealth for years; Full-Time RVing has some pretty good lifehacks. Thankfully there are plenty of options for online therapy. I’m not a medical professional, so do your research.

Playlists –

Y’all know how music can move your soul. I curated a couple of playlists for whatever mood I’m in. Blaring my Girl Riot or Body Movin’ playlist can give me that kick-in-the-pants motivation. Music can make you feel anyway. My misophonia makes some noises, sometimes hard to take, and even songs I love can have an uncomfortable effect on me. Still, it is situational and based on mood or surrounding circumstances.

Comfort TV –

I like a lot of nature and STEAM programming. David Attenborough and Neil deGrasse Tyson calm my mind. I love seeing beautiful places and learn new things about those places. I also love period pieces and shows that you have to be present otherwise; you miss many details. A few of the shows that are my go-to comfort viewing:

The Repair Shop is a group of highly skilled craftspeople who do their level best at restoring treasured items for people in Britain. It always amazes me how they can work their magic.

Tiny World – is 30 minutes showcasing little creatures in a big world. Paul Rudd narrates it.

The Expanse – I call this my AMOS time. The first time I watched through, it wasn’t something that grabbed me, but I had nothing else distracting me during the lockdown, and oh boy – it is so well done. Gorgeous sets, accurate science, and a stellar team all around making it happen. I have yet to read all of the books, so don’t spoil it for me – I hope that Amos and Chrisjen get together. = )

The Good Place – seriously, take my word for it – watch it, all of it. Now, right now.

The Falcon and the Winter Soldier – this one was a roller-coaster ride filled with all kinds of emotions. And if you don’t already love Anthony Mackie and Sebastian Stan, you will after this.

Resident Alien – Such a silly ride with many great actors and full of humor that I needed this last year. Alan Tudyk is one of my favorites.

All Creatures Great and Small – This new edition to the classic is nothing short of beautiful.

Dexter – You might wonder how a series about a serial killer can be comfortable television, but if you do, you don’t get me.

Podcasts –

Some of the podcasts that I listen to have varied topics, but one thing that connects them is the openness and shameless expression of their struggles. When conversations about the “taboo” topics flow organically, there is no pause or hesitation like “maybe I shouldn’t say this out loud because it is shameful,” only a delay and disclaimer that this may trigger some. It is refreshing to hear about the struggles that others have. Sharing with the World shows others that they are not alone. Some people are willing to take the step in acknowledging their pain and give it a voice in hopes of taking away the power.

iWeigh is really a community more than simply a podcast. Jameela Jamil’s honesty and bravery bring difficult topics to the surface and have difficult conversations on things that are even harder to unpack. She speaks to people who are out to empower themselves and each other positively and in an inclusive way. It is amazing to hear another person speak on things that have caused you pain or shame and realize you are not alone.

WTF with Marc Maron is raw and visceral. Marc has frank conversations with all kinds of interesting people, and he is very open about his journey through addictions and mental health. Again, the comfort that comes with hearing others have the same thoughts and struggles as you. Just being a human being is hard enough, but trying to be honest about what it takes to be a healthy human adds a whole other struggle.

Phone A Friend with George Ezra & Ollie MN was a great listen during the lockdown. It just flowed and gave me a sense of just sitting back and listening to friends having conversations. Which, I guess, what the point. It is currently marked as hiatus/finished, but you can still listen to the archived episodes.

Don’t Ask Tig is a fun break, a lot of advice from people who probably shouldn’t be giving advice (hence the name).

Daily Shine podcast and app has made such a difference for me, and it has been so appreciated. The messages are so helpful, and the speakers’ voices allow me to not only get into the meditation but for it to be my moment. It is my daily break where I don’t have any obligations to anything or anyone.