Do you practice self care while gaming? I wouldn’t be surprised if your answer is no: most people don’t. But gaming can be such a big part of our lives. It can take up a huge chunk of our days and it absolutely can have an effect on our mental health.
For me, it’s become second nature to periodically check in with myself and actively practice self care while gaming. How? My very own self care checklist. I’d love to help you make your own!
If you prefer watching over reading, check out my YouTube video!
Before we even get started: what is a self care checklist? Simply put, a self care checklist is used to help you monitor and maintain your habits. This can vary from person to person and from task to task. As you work through your checklist, you may even find you need to change things up to fit your needs better. That’s ok!
I personally have a generic self care checklist that I reference every week as well as the gaming checklist I’m about to share with you. I cannot say it enough: everybody is different, so your checklist is likely to look different from mine. Whatever it is, just make sure it is manageable for YOU! If you would like help crafting your own personalized checklist, feel free to DM me on Twitter!
How are you feeling now? How is the game you’re about to play going to make you feel? These are important questions to ask yourself before you get started.
If you are already in a bad mood and you know this game is going to make you stressed or angry:
Your mental health is more important. Period. Opt for another game or maybe take the night off instead.
If you’re feeling particularly down and need some assistance, check out these mental health resources.
Come on, you knew this was going to be on here. Are you thirsty? Then you’re already dehydrated! Take a drink! And you know DAMN WELL I am not talking about Mtn Dew or even GFuel.
Keep a glass of water next to you while you play so you can sip it slowly and beat hydration! Dehydration can lead to headaches, fatigue, and even dizziness. That’s definitely not going to help you when it comes to gameplay.
When I’m streaming, I even have a timer set for my bot to remind me to hydrate. I’ve seen other creators use a channel point redemption so their community can help remind them. Just find something that works for you!
Remember: hydrate so you don’t die-drate!
Fuel Your Body
Just because you’re sitting doesn’t mean you don’t need sustenance. Snacking while you play can help you maintain energy levels and help boost your brain power. We know that’ll come in handy in those tough games!
And for fuck’s sake, please don’t reach for a bag of Doritos — at least not every time! Too much junk food can lead to a lack of energy and focus. That’s no good when you’re fighting for your life in your favorite game!
Take a Break
Eye strain, carpal tunnel, just plain old exhaustion — all common side effects of gaming.
Make sure you are taking regular breaks to keep your energy levels high and reduce stress. Use the bathroom, make a beverage, maybe even take a short walk — we all know those queue times can get pretty lengthy!
Whatever you do, just make sure that you are taking intermittent breaks to give your eyes and your brain a bit of rest.
Pretty self explanatory, am I right? That’s why we play games in the first place: to have fun.
It’s easy to get caught up in winning the most or acquiring the best gear. We might even try to convince ourselves we’re having fun, even when we aren’t. So really look inward on this one and ask: “am I enjoying this right now?”
If the answer is no: put it down.
You can always come back to it later. Gaming is supposed to be something that brings us joy, so as soon as that joy is gone the game is no longer fulfilling its end of the bargain. Don’t give it more of you than it deserves.
No matter what — just make sure you’re HAVING FUN.
How to check in with yourself
There we go: we have our checklist! So now what? Obviously it’s not going to do us any good if we don’t put it to use.
For me, it helps to keep it in plain sight. I have my checklist written out on a sticky note and posted on my monitor. This way, I see it every time I sit down to play! I used neon pink, so it’s hard to miss.
Take a look at your checklist before you start — we want to evaluate how we feel first, anyway! As you play, just keep tabs on your list and try to notice how you feel. Have you been drinking enough water? Have you eaten anything yet? Are you in a good mood? The more you practice using your checklist, the more second nature it will become!
Are you using a self care checklist while you game or in any other aspect of your life? I would love to hear about it! And if you are struggling to make your own checklist, I am happy to help! Just leave a comment down below or find me on Twitter!