Video games are more popular than ever, with new technologies opening the doors to new and exciting gameplay virtually every week. As fun as gambling can be, experts say the activity is highly addictive and can take over your life if you’re not careful. I’m saying anything that is addictive can be used as a tool to motivate and balance your life.
Calendar – Calendar
Play video games responsibly
Never be afraid of addictive activities – just use them for your best good. Take video games – just balance your life, responsibilities, and well-being by using them as a burden on the other end of the spectrum.
Of course, you don’t have to give up your games for good. Instead, you’ll want to learn to control yourself and glean the best aspects of the game. Here are some tips for becoming a responsible gamer so that you can enjoy your game time without disrupting your overall productivity:
Stick to a play schedule
The first step to healthy play is development of a schedule and stick to it. A schedule is a particularly important step for teleworkers who might be more tempted to connect to a game during working hours. Of course, a gaming program should restrict the time you spend on electronics, while still giving you plenty of time to relax and have fun.
For example, one hour of play on weekday evenings is enough to unwind after work without occupying the entire evening. You will still have time to do some household chores, eat dinner, exercise, and even run some errands as needed. When the weekend arrives, you can allow yourself a bit of extra play time, while limiting yourself so that you can devote time to at least a few more productive activities.
If you need more time – that’s okay – just set your time before you start and stick to the deadline.
Make video games an incentive
Treating video games as a reward rather than a necessity prompts you to accomplish more productive things with your day before you tune in. This approach is popular with parents raising children, but you can easily implement it in your own life.
For children, video game time is often saved by complete a to-do list or succeed in school. So why not do the same for yourself? Don’t sit down to start a game until you’ve won your time by finishing laundry or unloading the dishwasher. Each activity can save you some video game time, so you need to save your downtime.
But let’s face it – sometimes, for some reason, your game is a necessity. Okay – a necessity – but do your other things first, then do whatever you need to for your game.
Add some physical exercise
If you sit at a desk for a whole eight hours just to sit in front of the television for another three hours, your body is going to struggle now or later. Exercise not only helps you keep your figure, it provides energy, fights disease, and may even make you feel happier. Insert some physical exercise in your gameplay, video games will fit your lifestyle much better.
Let’s say you’re playing a multiplayer game that runs through 15 minute matches. In between each game you play, do a few exercises. You can even use it as an incentive. For example, do ten push-ups and ten sit-ups if you win the game, but do 20 of each each time you lose.
If you like to play single player games, you’ll need to be a bit more proactive with this. Consider setting a 15-minute timer on your phone to indicate when it’s time for a little exercise. Since most single-player games can be paused at any time, that should be more than possible regardless of which game you choose.
Play with friends
Why play alone when you can play with friends? Some studies show that playing video games with friends can actually make you happier. It’s a great way to socialize, especially over long distances.
When playing video games, try to take the time to play with friends. You will continue to develop social skills and make new friends and memories as if you were hanging out in real life. If you don’t have friends who play the same games as you, donate online communities A try. There are many social media groups filled with people looking to make new connections by playing their favorite titles.
Try new games
There are many mind-numbing games that can relieve you of stress for a few minutes, or they can trick your stress response thoughts into breaking out of a loop. But some games do little more than waste your time. Just be aware of the response you expect from your game.
Sometimes it’s good to turn your brain off for a while, but video games can be so much better than that. Give a little new games a try to try to challenge your mind as you play. Some colleagues have found an amazing retail store not far from the office where we can go for lunch or after work and learn new games. The owner is amazing – he even organizes games and competitions in his store at night.
Find yourself a new game, new players to share experiences with, and a new place where you can improve your skills with something that will add to your life.
There are hundreds of educational games even for adults these days. There are many puzzle and strategy games that you can try out for size. These types of games test your critical thinking and decision-making skills, which are also valuable skills in real-life situations.
Watch your emotions
Video games are meant to be fun, so don’t allow yourself to be overly competitive while playing them. When the losses start to pile up, some players get angry and pissed off – bench yourself if you take that step. Train well to keep your video games as a form of entertainment. Getting angry with games is the opposite of being productive, so monitor your emotions is a crucial part of responsible gaming.
If you’re stuck on a particularly difficult puzzle, or just visibly upset with your teammates online, you need some self-control to take a step back. Of course, it helps to have another task to focus on at times like these. Using your calendar, you can create your evening to-do lists that will get you out of a frustrating game if you need to put the controller down early.
Playing video games responsibly will help you enjoy life a lot more. You will be able to play on your own terms without letting gaming habits hamper your daily productivity, personal health and well-being.
Image credit: cottonbro; pexels; Thank you!