Yesterday, MyTChondria tweeted this:
and it got me thinking about how to deal with this constant stress about getting grants funded. As a disclaimer: I know very little about depression in people other than that it is a very serious disease and I am not trying to argue that having a good coping strategy will eliminate your depression. I do know from animal research that studies phenotypes that resemble symptoms of people with a depression that it matters what coping strategy animals use for the severity of their symptoms. I can imagine that the same thing holds true for academia: that the coping strategies we use determine how we feel. Which is why I want to share some of my -embarrassing- coping strategies.
Let's start with the most embarrassing one: When my first paper, the one that made me cry in the lab, was submitted to Biological Psychiatry I very often found myself singing "Biological Psychiatry - oh please God help me!" (to the tune of "One" from Metallica). The paper didn't get in, but I still sometimes sing this song to myself and it reminds me of how relieved I was when we submitted this paper. The paper ended up in another journal of which I also sometimes sing the name of the journal in my head.
Less embarrassing: I often print out awesome data, even if it's very small like a band on a Western blot after some struggle to get the antibody to work, or the first trace of the first cell I recorded, or a significant result, and I paste these on the wall where I can see them every day. It reminds me that things (sometimes) work and that I am producing data.
Please share your (embarrassing) coping strategies in the comments!