With the constant grind of leveling up, completing quests, and conquering challenges, a gaming break can feel like respawning at a safe point. This pause offers you the chance to rest and reboot after intense gaming marathons. It’s a day where you spend quality time with your family or prioritize self-care. For gamers, it’s a moment to engage in co-op mode with friends or to explore other in-game narratives. However, if you’re not careful, you might find yourself lost in side quests or getting swamped by reality. If you’re pondering how to destress and wind-down a bit, here are eight activities worth diving into.
Gardening (Games vs Reality)
Nothing beats some time with nature. If you have green thumbs, this could be the time to show your plants some love. If you are yet to start one, decide what time of garden you want. Do you want to grow your food and herbs, or do you want beautiful flowers? Once you have settled on your preference, scout your yard for a spot with fertile soil and plenty of sunlight. It would be best to quickly run to your local nursery to find the right fertilizer. Build beds and install a fence to keep pests away. No space for a garden? This is where gardening simulations and games come in. There’s a lot of variety out there, so there’s likely to be something that will let you get your zen on and relax.
Change your scenery
While the four walls of your home may be your sanctuary, changing your environment can be a breath of fresh air. Whether you work from home or not, being enclosed can make you forget that there is an exciting world out there. Consider listing and visiting all the new restaurants and sights in your city. You can also spend a day at the movie theater or take a walk in the park to unwind. If there isn’t much to explore, you can decide to have a nicely brewed coffee or your breakfast in your local coffee shop. Changing scenery can also be done when playing multiplayer or single-player games. This too can help you recharge and bring new life to old games.
Cooking (Games vs Reality)
Good food speaks to the soul. Consider delighting your taste buds by trying out new recipes. You can scroll through cooking blogs and food magazines or ask an older relative to teach you their famous delicacy. If you are creative, you can gather ingredients in your pantry and make something delicious or recreate your favorite childhood cuisine. Take your time and enjoy the process. You can pour yourself a glass of wine or turn on some music while you engage in this therapeutic activity. No time or not a great cook? This is where cooking games can help. No, they’re not super realistic and don’t compare to the real thing, but they can help you relax and zone-out while cooking virtually.
Simpler Video Games
Playing video games is the ideal way to distract yourself from work on your free day, but you don’t want one of those games that feels like it’s a job, you know? This is where a simpler game that’s still full of strategy can come in. If you love card games, you can try options like Freecell to keep you mentally sharp. On the other hand, fast-paced games like Need For Speed require you to stay alert and make decisions quickly which translates into daily problem-solving. They also serve as a way to relieve stress and interact with other players.
Binge Watch TV / Movies
When was the last time you watched a good movie? Why not go through your to-watch list on your day off? There is nothing more blissful than being a couch potato for a day, and this can allow you to destress and energize. To truly maximize your movie-watching experience, assemble a variety of snacks, beverages, and water. Find a comfortable blanket and prop up your pillows for a good lying or sitting position. Consider taking breaks to stretch and go easy on emotionally heavy themes. Binging on your preferred show can release dopamine, creating a feeling of pleasure. It also promotes social bonds, especially if you watch with your loved ones.
Focus on Other Hobbies
We’re gamers, so games are more of a passion than a hobby, but a good way to energize and recharge is to take up other hobbies. Take an opportunity to engulf yourself in a new hobby while you have time. If you don’t have any extra-curricular activities or you want to add more, explore your interests and take the steps to start them. For instance, if there is a particular language you love and want to learn, consider downloading language apps like Duolingo and watching videos on YouTube. If you love outdoor activities, you can visit a dance or yoga studio with your friends and have fun. Hobbies (other than gaming) provide a way to declutter your mind and keep you creatively engaged.
Arrange a Spa Day for You
Arranging a self-care day is the ultimate getaway from a stressful weekday. Try booking an appointment with your local spa for a full body massage. You can also try a manicure and a pedicure and change your hairstyle to look and feel good. Alternatively, you can have a home spa day alone or with friends. Switch off your phone and put on a face mask. A hot tub might not cure your problems, but with some bubbles and a scented candle, you can forget about the body aches and stress. This is especially true if you’ve been gaming a lot and your body is suffering from it.
Level Up Your Naps
Who doesn’t like a good old fashioned nap, am I right? Napping has been proven to improve attention span and mood and help with stress management. Consider finding a warm and cozy spot to sleep for at least 20-30 minutes. Make your nap special by using freshly washed pillow cases, finding a warm blanket, and turning on soft music. The idea is to make it a treat and ensure you wake up refreshed instead of feeling sore from gaming in a chair for far too many hours.
Whether it’s a vacation, weekend, or a day between workdays, the secret to enjoying and utilizing your off-hours is to plan your day to do the things you love – besides just gaming!