Self-Care Sunday #3 (and on an actual Sunday!)

Well look at that! I’m managing to get a Self-Care Sunday post up on an actual Sunday!! Wonders will never cease. Dare I say it…am I becoming…organised? Nah, there was a good hour or two there where I was convinced it was both earlier in the day and also still yesterday, but still, I’m gonna take my victories as they come, and getting my first one of these up on the right day in a month counts in my book!

So, what did I do today to make sure my headspace is all set for the week to come? A few small but different things, actually.

I’ve been trying to think big picture recently – living in the moment is of course good for reducing anxiety, but for me, a large part of what I think makes me anxious is that I don’t like things to be out of my control. Now, I know, realistically, that there are great swathes of life that nobody, never mind me, can control. And I’m trying to learn to be okay with that. But the great unknown of tomorrow does often almost paralyse me with anxiety.

So, I’m working on the immediate moment, and learning to live more in that. But I’m also working towards putting a structure on my life that makes some elements of the (at least near) future feel more controlled.

For example, I spent some of today planning my workload for the week. Often my tendency towards disorganisation leaves me jumping from task to task based on whatever email comes in next or whatever random remembered to-do-list item becomes priority by having suddenly become last minute. But I’m trying to make a loose plan for my week, while also knowing that it could change. That way if it does change, I won’t be panicking trying to re-organise my head.

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I also spent today planning some future blog posts, in a word document. I know I spoke only yesterday about giving myself a break  from the pressure of feeling the need to post, but I do have a lot of ideas, but again, they are all jumbled up in my head, with links to posts saved as likes on Twitter, or random images saved on my desktop. On often, when I do sit down to write, the mental chaos this creates leaves me unable to compose a decipherable post. I also find that spit-balling ideas, in any area of my life, re-energises my brain and my enthusiasm. I’m hoping that will spill over into my academic writing that I plan to get done this week.

That sounds like really all I’ve done is work all day, and to be honest, sometimes for me, self-care is just getting things done – clearing the to-do list clears my head. However, I have had some downtime, too. I’ve done one thing that I always find helps me to switch my brain off – I watched some of my favourite TV shows. I’m especially into ‘whodunnit’ kind of shows – crime solving kick ass teams kicking ass, taking names, and saving the day. Some particular favourite shows include the various NCIS shows, the various ‘Chicago’ shows and Grey’s Anatomy.

I’ve thought a bit about why I like these shows, to be honest. I like Grey’s Anatomy because it has some pretty kick-ass female characters, and occasionally everyone needs a good tear-jerker.

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I like the Chicago franchises (Chicago Fire, Chicago Med, Chicago PD, and more recently Chicago Justice) because they have some well-linked stories that really hook you in. The characters are believable, and while they don’t always have a ‘happy-ever-after’ type ending, they overall convey a sense of hope and the goodness of people.

I like the NCIS franchises (NCIS, NCIS: LA and NCIS New Orleans) because, again, of the kick ass characters, and also the snappy writing. Some of the lines are pure cheese, but sometimes it’s smart and razor sharp. Again, its not always ‘happy-ever-after’, but I love the connectedness of the teams, the collective effort to solve problems and the fast pace of the story lines.

Watching these shows (and some other similar ones) allows me to fully switch my brain off in a way that I often struggle to. In an odd way, they also often provide a sense of comfort – that even though bad things and unforeseen things happen, there are good people who do their best to fix the problems, and oftentimes, they succeed.

So, what did you to self-care this week?

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