“Harry, I’m going to let you in on a little secret. Every day, once a day, give yourself a present. Don’t plan it. Don’t wait for it. Just let it happen. It could be a new shirt at the men’s store, a catnap in your office chair, or two cups of good, hot black coffee.” – Agent Dale Cooper, Twin Peaks

The best advice on self-care and mental health was the above quote, from TV’s Twin Peaks, a teen favourite of mine that’s being revived 25 years later. I’ve been re-watching the show recently with a friend who had never seen it before and was interested in it, and this particular quote from one of the episodes stood out to me, in my recent quest to improve my mental health and better manage my life.

So, for the past week, I’ve been doing as Agent Cooper suggested, and giving myself a present. Not planning it, just letting it happen. At first, I had a lot of anxiety about how I would manage that, because I have in the past struggled with my impulse control and was worried that I would go overboard, but the key was “a present”, not “presents”.

So, so far, here’s what my presents to myself for the first week have looked like. Keeping track of them helps me not only appreciate them more and keep up the practice, but also ensure that I don’t give in to poor impulse control.

Last week Monday: A package of comb honey from the Middle Eastern grocery store

Last week Tuesday: A bottle of port

Last week Wednesday: A trip to the bookstore (didn’t buy anything, being there was enough)

Last Week Thursday: Steak for dinner

Last week Friday: A nice long session alone with my vibrator

Last week Saturday: A new diary (You didn’t know I kept a diary, did you, world? Well, cat’s out of the bag now!)

Sunday: Making my favourite dish for dinner

Monday: Truffle oil french fries

Today: Well, I can’t plan it, can I? But this damn fine cup of coffee sure is a nice start.