Education

How History Helped My Mental Health

book lot on black wooden shelf
Photo by: Giammarco/Unsplash

During the last year or so, we’ve all read articles about ‘how to make the most of the pandemic’ or ‘how to protect your mental health during lockdown’, and it’s great that there’s so much content like that out there. But for me, meditations and home workouts just didn’t cut it. 

For me, it was about exploring the mind, but in a different way. I became obsessed with history. I’ve always loved history, *inserts Horrible Histories song*, but my knowledge and understanding rarely went further than what was presented to me in the classroom. 

Growing up, watching Horrible Histories, which by the way, years later is still an amazing show, I had always had an interest in history, just not in an academic way. So, I decided to make the most of the excessive time on my hands as a result of the (several) national lockdowns. 

It’s safe to say that I have become obsessed. Having binge-watched endless period dramas and historical fictions, the history behind it all truly intrigues me. In the last year, the knowledge I have acquired through my personal learning has been phenomenal. For me, understanding the history of the world is such an amazing experience and something that people should take seriously. 

It’s hard to say what it is that fascinates me so much about history, but I will say, having found my love for it now, I can’t see it fading any time soon. I have become utterly consumed by several aspects of history, including British castles, the Plantagenet dynasty, and the Vikings. These areas of history are not always taught in school but have become a real passion of mine in recent months. 

Naturally, I have so much more to discover and fall in love with, and I can’t wait. But for me, learning as much as I have about these subjects so far has truly given me such a positive outlook on life. I don’t know if it’s the excitement of learning new things or just the deepening of my understanding of life which came before us which makes me feel so good. Whatever it is, I have found that the many versatile forms you can learn from are accommodating to any lifestyle. 

Here are my recommendations if you’re interested in becoming as obsessed as me: 

Documentaries

Secrets of Great British Castles – Netflix 

Britains Bloodiest Dynasty – Prime Video

Henry VIII and His Six Wives – Channel 5 

Books:

The Plantagenets: The Kings Who Made England by Dan Jones 

Podcasts:

You’re Dead To Me – BBC Sounds

Films

The King – Netflix 

Outlaw King – Netflix

Braveheart – Prime Video

Historical fiction/period drama/TV shows: 

Knightfall – Netflix 

The Last Kingdom – Netflix 

Vikings – Prime Video

Horrible Histories – Netflix 

The Tudors – Hulu/Prime Video

There are so many more that I’m yet to discover, but these should keep you busy for a while!

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