It’s generally not acceptable to stand on the corner and scream. Nor it is okay, usually, to approach a table of cool-seeming people, sit down and participate in their conversation. Even worse, if you’ve ever tried being alone in public, you know someone will always sit next to you and ask what you’re reading/writing/drawing/knitting. Putting our own desires before the desires of others can be challenging but gaming offers opportunities to do just that. Want to stand on a street corner and scream? You can’t. But can you head online and do it? Yes, you can. Here are four ways to approach your gaming session so you can feel better after.
Blow off some steam
You know that Adele video where someone is throwing plates against the wall? Your feelings about Adele aside, we can all agree that the idea of throwing plates against a wall is deeply satisfying after a day of being accommodating to everyone else’s needs and desires. Perhaps you have a plate-throwing room, but most of us don’t. Enter: games. Gaming is a great way to blow off steam. It lets you take your aggression out on others (without really taking your aggression out on others). In fact, a study in the Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin suggests that playing a violent video game may actually help to decrease aggression—if you play the game with the goal to vent your anger. That makes total sense. Go in with that goal and come out feeling better.
Meet new people...or not
The beauty of online gaming is you can go solo or meet new people and play. Gaming can lead to connecting with others, going offline, and continuing the conversation. This could lead to joining a team, making a new friend, getting to know gamers in your own local community and, who knows, grabbing lunch or going for a hike with someone. Or? You can just go it alone. Maybe you want to wander awhile, and let your thoughts unspool. There’s absolutely nothing wrong with rolling solo in the gaming world. Follow your mood.
Chat with your friends—without leaving the house
You’ve already been away from your dog, your Birks, your La Croix for hours while you were at work or school. All of those things have missed you, including your dog. And your Birks. And your favorite drawstring pants. Don’t leave your house again after a long day. Be social right from the comfort of own couch, wearing what you want. Hop online when you’re ready and if you don’t want to get up close and personal, turn your camera off. When the mood strikes, chat with friends about your next moves during your next game. Make plans. Share tips about books to read, the next Netflix show to binge. Join your community on your own terms and in comfort. We don’t need to tell you how to socialize—just do it. If you’re the kind of person who really struggles to meet people online or in real life, be that from anxiety or other feelings, know that there are places for you too! We’re proud supporters of Anxiety Gaming, which has a place you can go to meet people just like you without any negativity.
And if you want to talk for lengthy periods of time, you’re going to want headphones and a mic that’s comfortable and sounds good. Like the ModMic 5. Simply attach it to your headphones and chat away.
Exercise your brain with strategic thinking
Sure, you can mindlessly game (we’ve all done it) but if you’re under stimulated during your working life, gaming is a great way to get the neurons firing. Gaming lets you analyze a situation, use and build your problem-solving skills, enhances multitasking skills, and teaches your brain to react quicker (online and in the real world). To the non-gamer, it looks likes mindless shooting and running. But, we all know that to stay alive you need to make split decisions, have a plan and a strategy, and put together a digital puzzle. It’s exercise for your mind.
Sure, self-care is about self-improvement, and doing things like going for a long walk, eating healthy or simply putting your needs ahead of whatever else the world tells you it needs. If that involves relaxing on the sofa gaming, you be you. We’ll see you online.
If you’re ready to take your gaming to the next level with your own livestream, check out some tips from @Ashnichrist on doing it right. Want more ideas on how gaming can be self-care? Check out the video below from our friends at Extra Credits.