Small Things To Help Your Mental Health This Year

This is a hard time of year. Between the holidays, family, and if you’re lucky enough to have coursework over holiday (me) there’s a lot going on and that can weigh heavy on the mind. Check out my friend’s blog for New Year’s Suggestions (rather than resolutions because who needs the additional pressure of upholding extra responsibility?). 🙂

juxtapoised

Happy New Year! I’m not hugely into resolutions these days, after many years of far too many resolutions that never actually happened. However, given that the entire world is currently in a ‘new year, new you’, I thought I’d write a list of things that you could give a try in 2017/ whenever you want (see? These are suggestions, not resolutions. It’s all in the branding) to improve your mental health in small ways. I’ll make it clear from the outset, these aren’t cures, they’re ways to make your mental health slightly better on a day-to-day basis, or to help when you’re having a really crappy day.

Embrace your inner child and do some colouring. 

Adult colouring books have been everywhere the last year or so, but they really are pretty cool. I find they’re a really good distraction when I’m anxious/ stressed, and given that my other coping methods…

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Art (comic)

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This was one of my first comic ideas inspired from my childhood favourite, Garfield.  The specific comic I had in mind was this one.

garfield-banana

I bring this up today because I’m working on my final portfolio for my creative non-fiction class.  Before starting the revision process I felt like “YEA! I got this, I’m least worried about this of the coursework I have over winter holiday.”

self-five
Just replace “FB post” with “writing”.

However looking over my peers’ and professor’s comments, I now realize I’m going to have to re-write everything because when I started the project at the beginning of the term I had a vague idea of what I wanted to say but what was most clear was the stories I wanted to tell. However when it comes to art/writing/creating, intention is everything.  We have all, probably, read or seen something where we can recognize that it’s good but we have a doubt as to what the creator is trying to achieve or say.  This is something I know I personally struggle with and not to step on 2B or Not 2B’s toes for writing tips, I’m no good at giving writing advice but she is and you should go visit her and see what she has to say, but the one thing I can advise just because I’ve gotten this feedback more often than not is “Why are you writing this?”.

To answer the question, about this post, is to share with you my monkey-touch-monolith moment I had the other day while working on my portfolio.

african_monolith_2001
I stole this phrase from Alton Brown from Good Eats, but this is also an excellent movie and book. 2001: A Space Odyssey.

Apart of the portfolio is a reflective essay describing “why” you do what you’re doing, from formatting to choice of content, and what purpose it’s supposed to serve.  Exploring the “why” rather than the “what” is kind of like the next step up from the basic lesson of “show don’t tell” in writing.  After writing the reflective essay, I got a greater appreciation for what I was trying to say with my portfolio.  Now knowing that, revision will still be a pain but much clearer in purpose because after all if art doesn’t have a purpose, then what’s the point?

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How I feel every time I look at my comics’ scores on imgur. 

Dance With the Dead (Band)

Happy Wednesday!

electro-retro
Electro-retro has some really cool album art.

Sometimes I get into a funk and that sucks.  My funk can express it self in many different ways such as apathy (“I could work on my writing projects, I should be doing coursework, I want to do SOMETHING but I can’t be asked”), or lack of creativity (“I feel like I have nothing to write today, so why bother?”), but most frequently it comes from routine decisions where I have a perceived lack of options or lack of novelty especially when it comes to music.  I listen to A LOT of music, all different bands and genres and styles.  From relatively popular/new music like The Chainsmokers to hardcore medieval party mixes to things that I’m not really sure how to describe except that “I like this”.

Between spotify, youtube, and soundcloud, I find a pretty fair variety of unique music to keep me happy but sometimes I just get bored of everything.

bored
This pretty much sums it up.

 

And that’s when the magic happens.  Let me introduce you to: electro-retro.

Normally, I’m not a big fan of the “retro movement”.  I think only some people have every been able to pull off the fedora look, I think only punks know how to wear big hair, and can we just leave our typewriters at home?

typewriters
Writing in public doesn’t make me any more curious about what you’re writing, it just lets me know you desperately want to be seen as a “writer type”.

However when I some electro-retro, namely featuring synth sounds that took over the entire 80’s popular music scene, I knew I found something worth bringing back.

Dance with the Dead is a electroclash band who uses a lot of synth but also has electric guitar and drums giving it a rock quality that I really enjoy.  I really liked their album The Shape and specifically the songs Riot, Her Ghost, and the first song There’s a storm Coming.

Go forth and explore my friends, if you find something buzzin feel free to leave it in the comments.

 

Why is it called “Soccer” and why rugby is to blame.

Happy Monday!

I hope everyone had a happy and safe New Years Eve.  My new years was quite lovely.

As an American living in England, I very literally learn a new thing everyday.  I’ve learn that the English are as obsessed with bacon as America but English bacon is much better (soz America but these guys cut their bacon nice and thick), that the English have their own ways of pronouncing the alphabet (“h” is “haych” and “z” is “zed”), and they that cookies are biscuts (unless they have chocolate chips and THEN they’re “cookies”).  The list goes on(1).

One difference that I had been well aware of and understand the discrepency for but never understood how it happened was: football versus soccer.  Possibly more confusing, I’ve always wondered why we (Americans) call American football, football.

football-vs-soccer
Clearly it should be called “Handegg Ball”.

Short answer: It’s ruby’s fault and ergo Americans are not to blame (this time).

Long answer: In 1863 a collation of British public schools were trying to come up with a Continue reading