Cityscape Counseling

Cosplay can be a great tool to help with depression, anxiety, to explore who you are and who you want to be, as well to connect with others online/in person.

In the past few years (due to covid) many conventions have been canceled, postponed or attendance restricted. There is a normal sense of withdrawal after going to a convention for a day or a weekend.

There may have been a lot of anticipation leading up to attending, a lot of work planning travel and cosplay. Then to have 1-3 days of shopping, socializing, cosplaying, and/or gaming, when that stops and you have to return to your normal life, the contrast can feel amplified.

  • Be kind to yourself when you feel down

  • make plans for the next convention

  • share pictures with friends who also attended

  • give yourself something new to look forward to (next cosplay, new items)

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I really just wanted an excuse to talk about the TedTalk Adam Savage did on cosplay a year ago. I have seen it multiple times and I love it each time. I am not a cosplayer (yet!) but I can relate to the essence behind the presentation.

Those of us who have hobbies that are not seen as ‘normal’ or deemed ‘acceptable’ often experience shame and struggle to fit in. Oftentimes it isn’t until we find our community that we have a safe space to be ourselves.

So if pretending to be a Disney villain, a superhero, or a homebrewed character makes you happy then by all means do it! There is no shame in being a cosplayer. It doesn't matter what your body looks like, what the color of your skin is, what your gender is, etc.

Reframe -> everything involving cosplay is self-care.

Re-enchant -> add magic to your life and cosplay who you want to cosplay

Don’t forget to follow @superpwrtoolkit and #reframeandreenchant for more resources and ways to geek out and take care of your health!

If you haven’t seen Adam’s TedTalk check it out here.

Superhero Forge

Sometimes we need extra motivation to stay healthy. Re-enchant your fitness routine with the Hero's Journey.

The Hero's Journey in Fitness has 5 tenets to bring out the hero in you:

A Hero takes full ownership of your goal and journey. Adversity is inevitable and is part of the process. Overcoming challenges that come is what makes someone a hero. This prevents Victims Mentality.

A coach/mentor is always helpful because they can help navigate the circumstances that come up. Luke had Obi-Wan. Harry had Dumbledore. Superman had two dads. They just can do the journey for you.

Every Hero’s Journey in fitness has a pivotal tool they use to help them on the way. There is no BEST tool, just a tool that they can use consistently. King Arthur had Excalibur. Luke had his lightsaber. Dorthy had ruby red slippers. Our tools can be a fitness watch, a home gym, or even the outdoors. Something that a hero can maximize.

The Hero’s Journey keeps the focus on the process, overcoming challenges, and the transformation of the ordinary person into the hero. It’s not just the results, it’s what one becomes to get those results.

When the Hero returns to their ‘ordinary world’, they will return a better person, using what they’ve learned to make their world a better place… or, they will encounter another call to adventure.

Head over to @superhero.forge to learn more about how you can apply the Hero's Journey to your fitness program. We all need a little motivation to stay healthy. Re-enchant your fitness routine with this Free Cosplay Fitness Starter Guide.

Untying Knots Podcast

There are many different ways to cosplay. You can create a costume that is as detailed as the ones in the comics/video games/movies, you can create your own, you can combine two different characters into one, etc. Even when there is no right or wrong way to #cosplay we can face obstacles that prevent us from enjoying it. Body image is one of those obstacles.

The Untying Knots Podcast talked with Demetrius Holt aka Hellspawn Cosplay. About the world of Black Costume Play (Cosplay) and representation in the Nerd and Geek or Blerd and Bleek space as a factor in our mental health. They also talked about the challenges and reality in the time of COVID-19 on the male body image and being a father. As always we also discuss the Myth and Reality of mental health, and the team that any #hero needs to be out in the world making a difference. Because Demetrius has the power, and so do you.

Check out @ugcounseling for more relatable content and a link to Untying Knots Podcast.

You can find Demetrious on Instagram and FB: Hellspawned_cosplay

Cityscape Counseling Chicago

Cosplay is a term that comes from two words combined: costume and play. Made mainstream over the years, cosplay is generally pertained to fandoms from anime, movies, TV shows, video games, and books. Commonly seen at sci-fi, comic, and anime conventions, cosplay doesn’t always need a place or event to be worn. #Cosplay is for everyone regardless of age, race, gender, social-economic status, or sexuality. It can also be a very useful tool in a therapeutic sense of finding identity.

Exploring your identity and gender can be intimidating and overwhelming in a number of ways. However, cosplay allows a safe space to dress up and present as your identified gender. There is an entire branch of cosplay referred to as “crossplay” to insinuate crossdressing, which is an acceptable activity among individuals of any sexuality or identity. In the environment of a convention, this is socially acceptable and does not draw any abnormal attention.

It is very different to present and cosplay a character of your identified gender in private or with friends compared to cosplaying cosplay at a convention, even if they are generally known as open-minded and accepting environments. Conventions are a good place to experiment with because they are a safe place to see how others react to you presenting as the gender you identify with. There are also specific panels for #transgendered individuals at some conventions. On a smaller scale, there are events where cosplayers gather to hang out or take pictures of each other, which could be less overwhelming than attending a convention.

To someone new to cosplay, there are a plethora of resources online to learn from other cosplayers about hair/wigs, makeup, sewing, where to buy costumes, and events nearby. The online community of cosplay is very welcoming and supportive, making it easier to connect with open-minded individuals no matter what stage of exploration or transitioning you may be at.

Check out @cityscapecounselingchicago to find more blogs about cosplay and mental health.