Yesterday, I woke up feeling exhausted.
It’s not a great feeling any day of the week, but it was exceptionally unappealing first thing on a Monday.
There wasn’t just one reason for it; we’d had a busy weekend, with birthday parties, a baby announcement, a long day of trying to get my excessive to-do list for our home done.
There’d been a lot going on at work, to the point that I’d given up trying to keep track of what I was working on.
It had been years since I actually let myself have a vacation, because even when I do take one, it’s with every intention of tackling big projects.
And it was all just sitting in my mind.
I was feeling burnt out.
It takes a long time for the effects of burnout to hit me, but when they do, it’s first thing on a Monday when I wake up and decide that I need a vacation before I’ve even gotten out of bed.
It’s something that we all experience from time to time, although at least for me, it’s easy to brush it aside and think it’s not a big deal.
It’ll go away if I have enough coffee and just do nothing when I get home, right?
But unfortunately that’s not usually how it works. That usually leads to it getting worse, at which point I lose all interest in doing anything at all.
That’s why I love video games.
Usually, when you read about how video games tie in with an attitude of escapism, it’s a negative thing. People use it to escape their daily lives, live out a fantasy, yadda yadda.
It’s absolutely true, and I don’t think it’s such a bad thing.
For me, at least, that attitude of escapism helps mental health. It’s a mini-vacation when that burnout strikes, and I have to wait a few weeks before I can take a vacation. (I have to give a month’s notice, and I’m terrible at planning that far ahead.)
That’s why I love video games so much. They’re my form of self-care, a way to get out of my head and reset, so I can at least try to tackle the day—and all the things I want to get done—with a modicum of sanity.
And even when one of my games starts to feel more like work than play with an endless grind of daily activities that I need to do if I want to progress (not pointing any fingers), there are more waiting for me with open arms.