Video games have connected generations of people together because of its fun characters and history from a variety of companies. From the early video game systems to the current generation, everyone has at least one video game to play for fun and enjoy with friends.
As a huge video game fan, I’ve been using video games to self-care for years, with all types of gaming themes from elementary school to now as a SAPro. From trying to catch all of the 151 original Pokemon to endless hours of Super Smash Bros, gamers can play in their own form of art to release stress and share fun with friends. When thinking of a unique way to self-care, I wanted to share the benefits of playing video games and how they can help student affairs members find a positive outlet.
Many of my peers have express how video games improve their mental health and enjoyment within their work/life balance. Just as we tell our students to take breaks and follow their passions, as SApros and grads, we must allow ourselves to self-care in creative ways. Here are some ways gaming has allowed for positive results with lower stress and improving creativity for people:
We Heal Your Pokemon and You
Video games help with fusing creative thinking to solve our daily problems while having fun. In Student Affairs, there are times when we need to practice self care and relax. Whenever I play video games, I feel like it’s a trip to the Pokemon Center for my productivity.
In one of my favorite game series, Pokemon, there is a line that says “We heal your Pokémon back to perfect health” which relates perfectly to mental health in Student Affairs. What I love about video games is the freedom you have to create a story. The variety of gaming allows people to use their own style to reward themselves with challenges, goals, and missions within their gaming experience with a fun style of leadership.
This lesson of allowing your mind, body, and spirit to heal is one of my favorite connections to self-care and video games. Anyone that plays video games can express how their passion for gaming helps with their personal life and work productivity. As a former RA, I used gaming themes to build connections to my students and peers. This led to fun gaming communities and themes within my position. This example relates to my professional life of playing games such as Uncharted 4, Pokemon, or others of my favorites to relax after a long day. Remember to not only let your body heal but your mind to do something fun. From playing Mario Party with friends to endless hours of Pac-man, gaming can take your energy and benefit your self-care.
Pass The Controller – Connecting With Others Through Video Games
During my graduate experience as a Residence Director, many of my students requested video gaming events for community building. As an RD, it was great to hear that many of my students were passionate about video games. During the stressful moments of the semester, my staff decided to create monthly events around video games. From popular games such as Pokemon, Smash Bros, and Mario Kart to board games, this helped students build relationships and de-stress. Learning about the different gaming styles students used to self-care was highly positive.
Not only did video games help with releasing stress, they allowed my experience with connecting with students become stronger. There were numerous times in the semester where I would have a student talk about their favorite video games. In my group#SAGamers, all members networking within a supportive community express how gaming helps their creativity. Participating in this community provides tips for understanding the benefits of gaming as a de-stresser.
Winning The Self-Care Game
Whether you play video games in your home, outside, or online, allow yourself to enjoy your gaming experience. Self-care is important for everyone in our field to stay positive and have fun outside of our positions. For self-care, the best way to enjoy your time is to do something you love. Some people really enjoy painting, running, swimming, and other fun activities. Video games allow for that same positive release for people to enjoy and practice for their own fun.
If you have a passion for video games, share it with others in your professional team. Share how video gaming helps your mental health and remember to “press start” on your personal self-care.
~ Satoru Iwata
This post is part of our #SelfCareSA series, which explores unique self-care habits of #SApros. Whether it’s faith, crosswords, or video games, you’re bound to be inspired to carve out some “you-time.” For more info, please see Sabina’s intro post. Be sure to check out other posts in this series too!
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