What Self-Care Has Turned Into For Me

It was something I didn’t know I needed

Photo by Felipe Vieira on Unsplash

Like everyone else, my routine has recently and drastically changed. I am now working from home full-time. Working from home is different than working at the office because I now have the ability to do some self-care during the day that I normally wouldn’t be able to do.

As you probably already know, self-care looks different to everyone. Some people meditate or do yoga. Some people spend extra time with loved ones.

For me, I discovered that self-care for me means that I am looking for an escape from the real world. I want to have blinders on, if only for a little while. Just enough time to re-center myself before I go back to the mundane tasks that are required of me. It also helps distract me so I am not constantly checking the news.

Animal Crossing is a game I used to play for the Gamecube back in the day. I adored that game more than I can explain. I would spend hours playing that game and would completely lose track of time.

As I got older, I got away from playing Animal Crossing. I got wrapped up in office life, my relationship, and everything else that life decided to throw my way. I forgot about my escape.

Cue Animal Crossing: New Horizons. My friend at work told me all about it, and I knew right away that I needed to purchase a Switch and that game.

Long story short, I got the last Switch and last copy of Animal Crossing from a local retailer before the stay home, stay safe order was issued by our governor. They are in-demand due to everyone being stuck at home and wanting something to do. So, I am grateful that I was able to get my hands on a system and the game.

When I feel stressed, I fire up the game and sit and play for hours at a time. The music, the colors, and the cute characters make me sink into the couch and sigh with relief.

This game allows me to get lost in the tasks and the desire to keep progressing. I focus on catching fish, bugs, and finding fossils, instead of frantically scrolling through my social media accounts. A much better alternative if you ask me.

I have re-discovered the game that allows me to relax and re-center myself. It allows me to take a break from the world that has become terrifying and super stressful. I am able to recharge, and when I do have to return to the ‘real world,’ I am better prepared and not so lost.

When you think of the phrase self-care, a video game is probably not the first thing that comes to mind. Society will lead you to believe that self-care has to look a certain way. But it doesn’t.

Self-care is anything that helps you relax and resets your mental state. The activity itself doesn’t matter as much as how it makes you feel. Even if it seems unconventional, if it calms you down and makes you feel better, then keep at it.

So for me, self-care has become a video game I can play throughout the day. I enjoy it, and it gives me tasks to complete and focus on. Playing Animal Crossing is a lot better than checking the news and my Facebook timeline for the 1000th time.

Many of us now have extra time, but we might not be sure how to use it. Take some time to figure out activities you have enjoyed recently, or go back and think about activities you used to enjoy years ago. Try and see if you can rekindle your interest now.

And if you play Animal Crossing: New Horizons by any chance, let me know! I would love to hear how this game is helping you through these weird times we find ourselves in.

Writing about all kinds of life stuff. Sharing my experiences to help and inspire others. ashleymattice.com

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