The world is kind of going to hell, right?
Lately I’ve been struggling to keep my mental health in check. I’ve especially found it difficult to de-stress at the end of each day. One thing I learnt back at university was that it’s important to unwind in an evening, even if it’s just a small 10 minute act of self care at the end of the day. Otherwise I end up having poor sleep, poor mental health and eventually poor physical health as a result.
I personally feel that I need to stay tuned in and aware of what’s going on in the news. But at the same time I know that checking the headlines as often as I do is ruining my mental health. So with that in mind, I realise I need to start looking for the good things in my life too. I don’t mean anything radically life changing or even overwhelmingly positive, just the little things that I can spend some time with to bring myself back to a more relaxed state of mind.
One thing I’m going to try, starting right now, is a monthly post about what I’m looking forward to that month. At the very least it’ll serve as a little list of things to do when I need to escape and cheer myself up. Sometimes I might put down significant events or occasions, but more often than not I expect it’ll just be silly little things that make me smile.
Personalising A New Home
So in January we moved house. It was a stressful move but I think we pulled everything together as best as we could. Although we’re paying virtually the same rent now as before, the new house is brighter, bigger and without any of the problems of the old one (so long black mould!). Now that we’re getting settled, I’m looking forward to finishing the final bits of unpacking and maybe even doing a little bit of light decorating. I’ve picked up a lot of trinkets over the years, so finding places for them in the new home will be a fun little activity.
Yep. As ridiculously mundane as it sounds, I’m really looking forward to the fact that I can now have showers again, after living in a house which only had a bath. No longer do I have to wait forever for water to heat up, then sit waiting for the bath to slowly fill, trying not to spill any water onto the precariously water-damaged floor. Now I can just dive into the bathroom for a quick shower and feel instantly refreshed!
This month it’s my birthday. Although I’m not one for big birthday celebrations (you need nearby friends and money to pull that off), I normally try to at least let myself have a nice day, grabbing some tasty food and settling down with one of my favourite movies. If you’re feeling generous and want to get me a little something, then I hear becoming a Patreon backer is a really cool gift idea! Alternatively, I do have an Amazon Wishlist which I’ll guiltily just leave here.
Meanwhile, that’s not the only personal occasion happening this month, it also marks 5 years from when me and Retta got together. Since then we’ve both started and finished our respective University courses, I’ve started transition, and we’ve moved down here to coast. Although we’re unlikely to mark it with anything big (again, we don’t quite have the money for that!) it’s a nice milestone to have reached.
One year of HRT
A different type of anniversary altogether, this month will also be one year since I started taking HRT. Of course it took some time for the effects to become noticeable, but HRT turned out to be an undeniably positive influence on my life. The mental, emotional, and physical changes that have all been greatly worthwhile.
TV: Super heroes!
I’ve made no secret of of the fact I am a gigantic fangirl of the CW super hero shows. Although I mostly grew up on Marvel comics, the shared DC Comics TV universe is my favourite thing on TV right now. These shows are cheesy, often repetitive and mostly predictable, but they’re also incredibly endearing, exciting and perfectly capture what makes super hero comic books so much fun. This month all 4 shows land back in the UK, which means it’s time to get up to date with Supergirl, Arrow, Flash and Legends of Tomorrow. Whenever I watch an episode of any of them, I immediately forget what’s bothering me and lose myself for an hour of goofy escapism.
Comics: The Whisperer War, Batman Eternal
The Walking Dead is one of my favourite comic books, having started reading it almost ten years ago now. These days I generally like to read it in batches, buying them digitally in bulk and then taking an hour or so to get up to date. February marks the point where I’ll have 7 issues saved up to read, which means I could check out the entire Whisperer War storyline, which I’m very excited to do! Although it’s a bleak series, I find it so cleverly written and brilliantly unpredictable that it’s always a joy to read. Meanwhile, I’ve been re-reading Batman Eternal, after picking it up during its original run.
Video Games: Skyrim
No, I’m not that late to the party. Recently I’ve decided to play through the fifth Elder Scrolls game again. Skyrim is one of my favourite video games of the last 10 years, with so much freedom and a huge world to explore, it’s brilliant for getting lost in. What began as a way to kill time while waiting for our internet to come back, I’ve gotten sucked into replaying all my favourite quests. Better yet, I’ve never played the Dragonborn DLC, meaning there’s a chunk of the game waiting for me that I’ve never seen before.
Books: The Dark Tower
Continuing the trend of enjoying media I’ve finished before, I’ve been re-reading Dark Tower and finding it just as weird, engaging and mesmerising as the first time I read it. I’ve actually only read the series a single time, so reading it now I’m able to appreciate all the foreshadowing and little references that flew over my head when I was 19. As I own the books digitally, I can pop in for a few minutes of reading at any time, thanks to the Kindle app.
So those are just a few things this month that I’m going to partake in as an act of self-care.
What about you? Is there anything you’re looking forward to? Or perhaps there’s something you’re currently enjoying that you’re going to keep depending on this month? Feel free to let me know!