While taking my break last month, I went back to my drafts folder to see what drafts sparked something in me. Mental health has always been close to my heart, and marrying that with the life of a geek was something that I had been wanting to implement into my blog for ages. So I’ve decided to write a few blog posts to shed some light on mental health in the geek and gaming communities. If you are currently struggling with your mental health, please reach out to a friend/family member family and check out these resources:
- Hotline Numbers
- National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) – by State List
- Mental Health America (MHA) – by State List
- Top 25 HelpLine Resources
Today, I want to focus on self care. I have two lists I want to share with you. This first list applies to our most basic human needs. No cutesy animal facial masks here! Sometimes when we experience burn out, anxiety, depression, etc., we forget how to properly care for our bodies, minds, and souls.
Self Care Basics
- Shower with soap and hair care. Pretty self explanatory, but sometimes instead of a bath with a fragrant bath bomb, we need to properly scrub and wash our bodies. Sometimes a real shower is needed when our mental health gets the best of us, and hygiene takes a back seat. Not feeling like you have the mental capacity for a shower right now? Brush your teeth!
- Drink a glass of water. Are you hydrated? Not sure? Have yourself a tall glass of cold water. Maybe you didn’t realize how thirsty you were and how much that glass of water was needed. Repeat until you are no longer thirsty.
- Text or call a friend. Every lone wolf and introvert still needs human interaction. Even if that’s texting your bestie a Friends GIF. Reach out to someone and strike up a short or long conversation. Get online and chat in your favorite online community. Anything to you some socialization.
- Have a snack or meal. Back to #2! When was the last time you ate? Not eating is an unfortunate side effect of our mental health getting the best of us. Grab a snack or make you an easy meal that will fill your tummy and warm your soul.
- Sleep. We all need sleep. The amount of sleep differs from person to person, but there’s nothing wrong with drifting off into a nice fuzzy blanketed cat nap to let go of the heaviness on our minds and hearts.
- Open a window. If you’ve been locked up in your space for too long, it’s time to let in some fresh air and sunlight. Open the blinds and raise the window to let in those healing natural elements. Breathe in the fresh air. Let the sunlight caress your face, eyes closed.
- Put social media away. Sometimes we go through a cycle of toxic social media where we are endlessly comparing ourselves to others or rehashing an online debate over and over. Sometimes we need to just log out. Log out of those accounts and put our devices away for a little while. Whether that’s a couple of hours or a couple of days, a social media detox can be just what we need to get our minds back on track.
- Go for a walk. When was the last time you moved? And I don’t mean a walk to the bathroom. It’s time to get up, stretch, and take a short walk, either around the house or around the block. A short leisurely walk with your pup can help clear your mind. Bonus points if you grab some headphones and turn on your favorite podcast.
- Make your bed. A simple act of making your bed can do so many things for you. It can make your life feel more organized (see #10). It can make you stay out from under the covers if that’s where you’ve been the last few days. It can feel special afterwards to climb into a made bed at the end of your day too.
- Clean or organize one area. Much like making your bed, the act of cleaning or organizing can make you feel more put together and clear headed. Whether that’s just making your bed, putting away the dish, or throwing away the trash, one simple act of putting things away can have a great impact on your mental health.
Self Care for Geeks & Gamers
- Listen to calming or relaxing gaming music. Some of my favorite gaming playlists to listen to are Animal Crossing (especially the night ambiance one) and TWRM Radio (Here’s the 2019 playlist) which has tons of options. I usually stick with the study/relaxation ones.
- Try out a self care app. A Geek Girl’s Guide did an amazing round up of apps that help you with self care. I have fallen completely head over heels for the #selfcare app (thanks to Michelle for introducing me). I play it every day and most nights before bed to help relax me. It’s beautiful, simple, and brings me back to mindfulness. I wish I had thought of it.
- Read an old favorite book in the bath. Pretty self explanatory. Grab an oldie-but-goodie book, run a warm bath (bubbles or bath bomb optional), light a couple of candles, then settle in. Stay as long as you like or until you get pruny. No judgement here.
- Put on your favorite fandom PJs. Bonus Tip: throw your pajamas in the dryer for a few minutes to get them warm before you put them on. Bonus Bonus Tip: throw your fandom blanket in the dryer for maximum fluffy warm goodness. Now you’re ready for #5.
- Watch a comfort film. This is the perfect time to return to a favorite movie that brings you happiness and joy. Whether that’s a Marvel film or Disney movie, put on something that brings you comfort.
- Play a comfort game. Try not to force yourself to play anything if you’re not in that mindset. If you want to play something but feel a bit stuck, try an old favorite, preferably something short that can provide you with some instant gratification. Pick something that will make you feel good.
- Spend time with your hobby. Spending time with your hobby does not mean throwing yourself headfirst into a huge project. It might actually mean window shopping for supplies, pinning ideas on Pinterest, talking about it in an online community, watching YouTube videos about it, writing about it, etc.
- Organize/Clean Collectibles or Bookshelves. Cleaning or organizing your collections or bookshelves not only helps you clear your head and feel cleaner and more organized, but it also brings you closer to the things that you care about enough to collect and display. It’ll give you private moments to look back at pieces and admire them as you dust them off and put them in their place.
- Watch Let’s Plays/Vlogs on YouTube. Can’t bring yourself to play anything but still find yourself yearning for a game? Watch a Let’s Play! Want to thrift but can’t bring yourself to get out of the house just yet? Watch some thrift hauls! You can check out some of my personal favorite YouTubers here.
- Get support from your geek community. There are geeky groups everywhere! Facebook, Discord, Reddit, Twitter, etc. all have supportive communities where you can reach out to others if you need the support. And let’s face it, we all need it if we’re in this place where we are looking for self care.
I hope these honest self care tips are helpful to you if you have found yourself in a bad space. Whether you’re burnt out, depressed, feeling anxious, or just need to recenter yourself, self care needs to be your priority. In order to be your best self, you have to take care of your mind, body, and soul.
What do you do for self care? Share some tips in the comments that have helped you!
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