Atari 2600

One of the tools I use to deal with Anxiety: Gaming

Yes I am a gamer. As a proud card carrying member of Generation X I can tell you that in 1982 I got an Atari 2600. I actually got a “sears” version, back then Atari sold directly to Sears (who was still a major, if not the biggest retailer in the country in the 80’s) my FAVORITE uncle got it for me, LOL. I’ve been hooked ever since. Back then you had to hook it up to the TV, graphics were horrible by today’s standard but god was it fun.

I’ve gone through many iterations of games and generations of gaming consoles in the last 38 years. I’ve been gaming probably longer than many of you have been alive LOL. I’ve recently started playing some of my older games again. This my hobby of course, I work full time, I have a family I have a normal life. Hobbies allow you to disengage from reality, more over it allows you to escape from things you don’t necessarily enjoy doing.

As an example do you hate your job? Are you having a stressful situation with your family? Hobbies are a refuge, and allow you something you enjoy that’s exclusive to you. Sure you can share your hobby with other people but having something that is YOURS is very important for your mental health. It’s almost like a safe space, it’s a place you go that you exist as you like. At least that’s how it is in video games, and I truly appreciate that aspect of it.

Hobbit Hole
So does this mean I can be a Hobbit?

Your hobby can be anything, cars, golf, pets, writing, and video games. In the end though it’s a great way to have something that is just for you, that you can be selfish about and not share if you don’t want to. It’s indulgent and people in your life may find it threatening to their relationship with you that you have something personal that doesn’t include them. It’s important to make time for everyone in your life and to make sure they don’t feel ignored.

However it’s just as important to make sure that you make time for your hobbies. This will make you a better overall person and far more relaxed and happy. Remember to not over indulge and to be clear with the people in your life what your hobby is and what you are doing. As an example, I game wed evenings 8-10 and Friday night 9PM – to whenever I go to bed. My wife and kids know I do this, and it doesn’t create an issue for us. I game with my son from time to time actually, LOL.

The point is, find something you like for you. Be selfish, but don’t let it consume you.

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