There are so many different things that people say will help your mental health. Different types of exercise from a walk or run, a trip to the gym, reading books, playing board games. Well for me it is slightly different. And I’m sure others are like me too. For me video games and different ways to exercise have worked for me.
Video Games are self care too
I have always loved video games. From playing Super Mario on my Auntie’s original GameBoy to Call of Duty on the newest Xbox. Games from big open worlds to first person shooters, to strategy games and more in between. Technology has helped me to engage in activities that help my mental health. Taking five minutes to play a game on my phone, or on a handheld console has really helped especially in a moment such as anxiety rising. Take being on public transport and the feelings of being overwhelmed with the nose and people, having the ability to put on a video or play a game and allow my focus to be just on the phone in my hand. When I have longer journeys portable consoles can be a go to help keep me calm.
What I find comforting
When I’m home, taking time for myself, self care, can be watching a movie, bingeing a show. Something for my mind to not be on the issues in my life or at least to give my mind time to process in the background. One thing I find really comforting is watching shows and movies that I have seen before again for what could be the twentieth or more time. The way my brain works I don’t always remember shows or movies very well just if I enjoyed them. But sometimes it comes back or it gives me an opportunity to mindlessly scroll through my phone, play games and this helps keep me calm. I know that for some people getting out for a walk, or to the gym helps but not for me all the time.
Technology can be used to help
Getting engrossed in a video game, playing for hours has been so therapeutic for me. But video games have opened up a new way of exercise too. I have a number of different games that I use. From role playing games that require exercise to complete levels and beat the bosses to boxing games they all help. Boxing games I find really helpful and fun ways to get into exercise. From boxercise with music to boxing in virtual reality playing as Rocky or Creed with training sessions it is a great way to work up a sweet.
Journaling is more than just pen and paper
Another aspect that I struggle with is journaling and while I struggle to write down my thoughts, and writing in general, there are other ways that I have found have helped me. Two of the main ways I have done this is through typing up my journal on the computer or my phone, or I use the voice recorder on my phone to help document my thoughts. There is also a sort of therapeutic aspect of talking out loud, to someone or my phone. Recording while walking down the road, or cleaning or playing video games have all been really helpful in processing my emotions.
Self care does not look the same for everyone. It is important to do what is right for you and what works for you. Use every tool available. Self care doesn’t have to exclude technology. Not just reading a book or going for a walk. Why not try video games or something comforting like a show or movie.