We’ve talked about burn out, and we’ve even talked about self care for geeks and gamers, but today, I’m about to get very honest with you about real self care. There’s no Lush bath bombs or cute animal face masks here. It’s just me and my journey to finally figuring out what makes me personally feel the best. It probably shouldn’t have taken this long, but here we are!
Back in 2014, I covered What being an introvert ACTUALLY means when A Geeky Gal was still coming into her own. It was originally ported over from my very first attempt at blogging before I decided to rebrand and become what is now A Geeky Gal. It was honestly quite a nostalgic trip to go back and re-read that 5+ year old blog post. You may be wondering why in the world I’m choosing to revisit it now. Well, Angie of Backlog Crusader kindly requested a special Mental Health in the Geek Community segment on being an introvert, and I am more than happy to oblige on a subject like this!
You’ll also notice some featured quotes from fellow introverts scattered throughout this post. I asked Twitter for negative quotes or phrases that they have heard pertaining to being an introvert themselves. These are real quotes from real people. Thank you to all of you who helped contribute to this post with your own unique points of view and experiences. It really helped shape this post into an honest look at what it actually means to be an introvert.
Why is it so hard to make close friends when you become an adult? When you’re a kid you can just walk to up anyone and ask to be friends. BOOM! Now you got yourself a best friend. Something changes between those young school years and after college. You don’t see those same people every day anymore, and suddenly, you don’t know how to make close friends outside of school.
I realized after I ended a toxic 5-year relationship that my friend circle had shrunk. The couple of friends that I managed to keep during that tumultuous time helped me get my life back together. While I loved and appreciated their support, it made me see how many friends I had lost contact with. I felt ashamed about a lot of things in my life during that time and couldn’t bring myself to reach out to them.
As geeky bloggers in a particular kind of niche, there’s so many opportunities to look over at our fellow bloggers and compare ourselves and our work to theirs. Next thing we know, we’re spiraling down a negative path of “what if’s” and our hearts are full of uncertainty. That blogger is reaching more people than you; that blogger is getting more comments than you. That blogger just quit their job to blog full time; that blogger is bringing in a six figure salary on their blog alone! The comparison goes on and on until we are in such a low place that our self esteem has taken a massive hit.
I personally find comfort in knowing that most of us have been there at some point in time. We aren’t alone in these feelings. We all have let comparison steal our creative weirdness and love of all things geeky at some point. We have all burned ourselves out competing in one-sided competitions whether that be with a stranger online or ourselves. Why are we letting comparison steal our joy of writing and creating?
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.
We have all talked about it. It has leaked into discord servers, Facebook Groups, and Instagram DMs. It has creeped across anonymous message boards and has been whispered about between friends. Your favorite bloggers, vloggers, streamers, and influencers all eventually experience it. I’m talking about burn out.
If you Google burn out, you’ll find all sorts of articles on what it is and its symptoms. What is a bit harder to find is what to do about it. Sure, there’s cutesy articles on self care, but what do you do when an animal sheet mask doesn’t fix your problem? And how many times can we read to “reduce stress” in a single article? Sometimes self care just isn’t that easy.
With Halloween at an end, I though it’d be a great time to take part in one of Normal Happenings’ Daily Inklings! I’m spinning the prompt just a bit… What do I do after playing a horror game to calm down? I’m going to share my tips and tricks with you on how I chill out after playing some of my favorite horror games! Here’s 7 steps to help you decompress after playing a scary game.
Drink A Cup of Tea
I totally blame my husband for this one. Drinking a hot cup of tea wasn’t something I did until a couple of years ago when he was visiting from Ireland. He made me a hot cup of tea, and since then it has become something I turn to when I’m in need of comfort. Tea not really your thing? Hot chocolate can do the trick.
Play The Sims
The Sims can be a great distraction. The mundane tasks of making sure your Sim eats, sleeps, and goes to work can be enough to calm your racing mind and heart. Creating a new Sim, picking out a house and decorating it is also a great distraction. Animal Crossing and Stardew Valley are great alternatives if you don’t have the Sims.
Look at GIFs of Cute Animals
My husband and I do this all the time, especially if we’re feeling a little down. Cute animals can be the answer to shutting down your fear as well. Hit up your favorite subreddit or look around on Pinterest or Imgur for pictures and GIFs of cute animals doing cute things. It’s easy, and you’ll feel so much better.
Watch a Disney or Pixar Movie
This is a tried and true method of mine for literally all aspects of my life. If I’m feeling some negative emotions, I turn on a good Disney or Pixar film that’s sure to lift my spirits. Netflix has Coco and Moana right now! Both are excellent feel-good films that are sure to calm your nerves after a night of playing a horror game.
Watch HGTV, Mr. Kate, or The Sorry Girls
Does anyone else find home improvement or decorating shows to be oddly soothing? I know it’s not just me… Right? Anyway, HGTV on Netflix or Hulu can be another great distraction if you can’t bring yourself to play a calming game. Mr. Kate and The Sorry Girls on YouTube do a great job of scratching that same itch!
Leave a Light On
Find yourself uncomfortable in the dark after that particular scary cut scene? There’s nothing wrong with leaving on a night light or a lamp when you crawl into bed. Once you’re feeling sleepy enough, you can turn off the light or leave it on if you are able to sleep with lights on.
Cuddle Your Pet
If you have a pet, they are the perfect cuddle buddy to hold while you recover from a horror game. Give your pet some attention, and let them calm you down. My sweet Padme (above) is the perfect snuggle bug after a scary encounter in a game. You and your pet could benefit from this tip!
What tips and tricks do you have on how to go to bed after playing a horror game? Tell me in the comments!
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