Self Care and Cosplay: Why it’s important

So first for those wondering: The featured cosplayer interviews ARE STILL HAPPENING! I fell behind in creating them and getting them shared on the dates I had planed, but fear not! I am writing them all up now and will have them here on my blog and THEN scheduled to post on social media. Be prepared for a 50+ days of featured cosplayers!! ūüėÄ

As cosplayers we are our own worst critics. We have these standards we set for ourselves and our costumes and often times those standards can begin to cloud our minds and before we know it cosplaying is just not the same anymore.

It’s not the same as it was when you first started. The excitement, the fun. It just seems to slowly fade away over time, and often times that is because as human beings we begin to view things differently the longer we do them.

For instance: You may have loved your job when you were first hired on. The people were nice, the hours were great, and to put it simply you were excited and loved the idea of being paid to do something that you (maybe) enjoyed!

Flash forward a week/month/year(s) and what do you find happens? For most of us (not all!) we begin to dislike certain people in the workplace. We begin to dread/hate our alarm going off at ungodly hours in the morning, and the pay well…what started off as nice may not be working now and the bills are piling up.

Cosplay is a lot like a job and in the end cosplay is how you make it to be.

Now keep reading because this is important. Your attitude DOES help determine your day. And the way you approach situations that arise and handle problems can not only effect your overall mood and the mood of others, it can also effect your performance in what you are doing. Be it work, or cosplay.

Sometimes you just aren’t¬†feeling it. And you know what, thats okay! Just like when we have good days and not so good days we also have days where we are filled with passion for the things we love to do, and other days where it’s all we can do to get out of bed and take those twenty steps to the sofa where we binge watch Law and Order all day long.

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I may be obsessed actually…send help

The key point to remember here is: It’s okay to take breaks from the things you love. It really is.

No where does it say that as a cosplayer you HAVE to create x amount of costumes a year and wear them to cons. No where does it say you HAVE to continuous provide content or else your fans will leave you (although some will. Bye bye Felicia!). Remember that time is precious, and how you want and or need to use it is completely up to you.

Story time.

I get on these cycles where I have absolutely NO DESIRE to work on cosplay, let alone put one on for any reason. And it sucks! Because I love this hobby! But you know what, I have my reasons for these cycles and even still some of those reasons are unknown to me.

It’s not that I get lazy or that I want to quit. Personally I¬†find when I get stuck in these build less cycles it’s often times because I have far too much going on in my life, or that certain triggers and or self doubt keep me from picking up the hot glue gun.

  • ‘Your work is actually really bad’
  • ‘Why don’t you just stop?’
  • ‘Whats the point, I’ll ruin it if I try to make it anyway…’
  • “I’ll never look like that one cosplayer…’

These negative and depressing thoughts are often the starters to these cycles for me. Heavy work loads or family matters are often combined with those thoughts, and once the two meet it’s hello Elliot Stabler and Olivia Benson (Law & Order SVU).

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‘In the criminal justice system…’ -admit it. You just completed the opening word for word didn’t you.

This can result in me not having anything to do with this hobby I love so much for days, weeks, or even longer depending on the cycle. But again it’s okay. You know why?

Because self care is SUPER important.

And this is a good time to put those words to use. Life get’s stressful, and sometimes you just need a break even from the things you love. This is a good time to focus on your own self, and no binge watching TV all day is not something I encourage.

This is a good time to slow down, enjoy the world around you, and come to terms with what’s been bothering you. You can find solutions to your stress a lot easier when you slow down and approach it differently then you would going 180mph.

Maybe you struggle with something personal, and you just have not had the time to actually sit down and meditate about it, and address it for what it is.

Story time.

I struggle with a lot of things, and the number one thing I struggle with on a daily basis is self doubt and the ability to love myself just the way I am. Add a dash of anxiety (on my best day, otherwise it’s bucket loads) and you have for the most part an inside look to my daily life.

You would not have known that if you knew me in person. At conventions I am super outgoing, positive, and happy because cosplaying and conventions are two things I love dearly in this world. But inside I will compare myself to others, even though I know its wrong and I practically preach this to you all in every post I do. I’ll feel uncomfortable in certain costumes because of a feature on myself I dislike. These are just some of my own personal struggles, and I battle them everyday.

But what I have found is when I get in one of these cycles where I just don’t want to do what I love doing I take time to focus on the why.

  • ‘Why would you think your work is bad?’
  • ‘Why would¬†you stop what you love doing?’
  • ‘Whats the point, I’ll ruin it if I try to make it anyway…’ Why does this matter to me?
  • “Why would I want to look like someone else when I am beautiful just the way I am?’

When I ask myself the why’s to my doubts and concerns I often can find the hidden answers, and can then address each doubt head on and plan for a counter should it ever arise again.

So instead of letting the thought of ‘Your work is really bad’ take hold and bring me down, I can counter now by looking at my work and finding what I love about each piece, and then something AMAZING happens! I start thinking of ways I could improve parts, and the creative wheel begins to turn again!

I see my friends struggling. I see cosplayers who I don’t know personally going through similar things, and my hope with this post is that not only you read it entirely but that you take away from it the following:

  1. YOU ARE SO BEAUTIFUL!
  2. Your work is not to be compared. Your time and dedication to your craft is unique, just like you as a human being are unique. Why would you even allow yourself to compare your masterpieces to others?! Your hands have created something! It’s okay to feel pride in your work, and it’s okay not to feel proud. You learn as you go, and your skills will improve. The hardest part here is learning the mindset that it’s YOUR WORK and that it is creative!
  3. If you need a break take one. Don’t feel guilty. This is for you, and it’s a great time to take care of yourself.

Story time.

My last build less cycle just ended. It ended like a week ago when at 1am I lay awake and suddenly had the urge to build. I looked back at an old costume I had made, and felt all nostalgic. And it was then I decided the build I would come back to was that very same costume. I will share the old and new costume (2.0 is the name for it) side by side here once I complete it late/early next week.

Screen Shot 2017-04-19 at 1.09.47 PM

Hopefully this helps someone. Maybe it helped you. Know you are not alone, and that I personally am here for you. Shoot me a PM on my Facebook page or an email anytime, and I will talk with you and do my best to encourage you!

Love you all!

HappyCosplayer

Email: happycosplayer@gmail.com

 

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