Here are a few simple recommendations to help you maintain both your mental and physical health as you invest in your gaming career.
Remember the Basics
It’s important to start with the basics. Ask yourself if you’ve taken the time to address three of the most instinctive requirements on Maslow’s Hierarchy of needs:
- Exercise: Are you consistently exercising? Exercise is an excellent way to both preserve physical health and beat the stress that may have built up after that last round of Fortnite ended in utter failure.
- Sleep: It’s so easy to let the small hours of the night slip by when you’re engrossed in a good game. However, getting poor quality sleep can be detrimental to your health. Try to create a sleeping schedule so that you can make sure you’re getting enough rest.
- Food: Junk food is a gamer’s best friend. Not. Snacking on junk all night long is the best way to trash your body and exhaust your mind. Make sure to seriously consider what you’re feeding your body each day.
Simply tending to these three basic needs is half of the battle for maintaining your health.
It’s easy to sit for hours at a time when you’re playing a game. If you don’t do something to shake things up, it can wreak havoc on your back.
That said, look for ways to move from time to time. Get up and stretch. Do yoga at your desk. Look up a good deskercise routine. Try a 7-minute workout. Whatever it takes, find something to keep you moving throughout the day.
Protect Your Eyes
Gaming naturally involves a lot of screens. From phones and tablets to that 110-inch Ultra HDTV you’ve got spanning the entire length of your living room, if you like to game, you likely spend a lot of time in front of screens.
One of the easiest ways to counter the effect of so much screen time is to purchase a set of blue light glasses. Most manufacturers have an option to include a blue light filter with your prescription, too. Filtering out the blue light makes a huge difference in how tired your eyes get over time. If you wear contacts, take them out during marathon gaming sessions — wearing them too long is almost like wearing them overnight, which is not a good idea. Leave them in too long, and they could get a bit sticky.
Unplug Once in a While
Finally, you may not love the idea at first, but it really is wise to fully unplug from your electronics once in a while. This isn’t just referencing powering down the game console or shutting down your computer, either. Try to avoid everything from push notifications to social media.
Ditching the electronics for a good book or, even better, time spent with other people is a great way to combat loneliness, isolation, and depression.
Staying Healthy While Gaming
Gaming is fun, but it can also be destructive to your mind and body if you’re not careful. Fortunately, there are plenty of simple ways to care for yourself while you’re competing, building, and generally playing.
From caring for your basic needs to regularly stretching, protecting your eyes, and occasionally unplugging, don’t be afraid to make an effort to preserve your health while you’re having fun. You’ll appreciate it in the long run.