• Shelby McDaniel

Fighting the Winter Stir Crazies with Online Gaming

It looks like a certain Disney queen "Let it go" all over my backyard. Our lawn is perfectly preserved under a coating of ice and our walkway is a skating rink. Inside, we have a fire going and a hot cup of tea at hand. What more could anyone want?

Of course, no matter how much writing that I have to do, I still go a bit stir crazy. So what is a girl to do?

I started playing Neverwinter, a free-to-play online MMO similar to World of Warcraft. It had been a while since I had last played anything like this, but it was like getting back on a bike once I started playing.

We all can fall prey to the winter blues when cooped up inside. Video games can offer a temporary mental escape where players can be anything and do nearly anything they want. An article in Wired described video games as a tool in the author's self-care kit and I couldn't agree more. When you are battling swarms of enemies, it is a little hard to be consumed with the stress of overthinking about everything you have to do tomorrow.

Of course, moderation is key. Creating a work/life balance is important, and that includes healthy doses of self-care. However, too much of a good thing is never a good idea in the long run. Being careful to monitor your screen time both on the job and during off the clock hours is always recommended. That is where baking bread, reading a book, or getting in some exercise (yoga is a personal favorite) comes in to play.

There are tons of free to play games online or you can invest some money into games provided by reliable online retailers. Not sure if you'll like a game before playing? Twitch and Youtube have vast amounts of users who address that question. You can watch videos of run-throughs, tutorials, and reviews on thousands of games before choosing the one right for you.

The weather outside may be colder than the inside of my freezer, but I can still take a break from work and explore weird and exciting lands from the comfort of my living room. Adding online gaming (in moderation) to my self-care kit has helped fight the winter blues and kept me from going stir crazy.


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