Replacing Video Games with Better Hobbies
Video games are one of the most common hobbies these days, but they are no longer a good option for me. I focused my last two posts on the negative relationship I have had with video games, and on how I've stopped playing them. This time, I'd like to switch to a more positive tone and focus on the positive changes I noticed since I stopped playing games. As usual, I'd like to state that these are just my opinions, and I'm not an expert. What works for me might not work for you.
Whenever I used to get very interested in a game, I noticed that all my other hobbies fade in the background. Now, without games, they are re-surfacing and bringing me a lot of positivity. First of all, my camera sees a lot more usage. I stopped gaming for almost 2 months now, and I already got a number of great photos. My mind feels free of games, so it finds more purpose in other hobbies. Whenever I know I'll be going to a new place, or out for a long walk, I'll take my camera. Of course, we all have our cell phone cameras on us, which is great. But bringing my actual camera feels different. It feels more purposeful and I observe my surroundings with a fresh perspective. I've learned how to use an analog camera when I was a kid, in the early 90s. I switched to digital cameras sometime in the early 2000s. Photography has always been there, but because of the amount of time spent on video games, it tended be a sporadic hobby. Well, I'm just happy to make it less sporadic now. I share some of the photos I take on my Twitter page (check the Media tab if you'd like).
Another hobby that took a back seat for a while is writing. I used to have a movie review blog throughout university and after. I watched movies and reviewed them. I also used to write personal blog posts, but that also faded over time. I'm happy to resurrect this habit now that games are not taking up so much of my time and mental energy. Aside from posting to Medium now, I'm also on a 70+ day streak with my personal journal. I managed to write in there every day, and it's giving me hope that I can finally turn writing into a respectable interest. After all, I'm an English major! It's a pity not to do more of what I love. Blog posts on Medium are a good way to get back into it, while the personal journal helps me make sure that I write at least something small every day.
The third interest that is helping me fill the space left behind by video games is fitness. Now, to be fair, this one I did manage to maintain even while gaming, but I feel like I am getting a lot more satisfaction out of it now than I did before. Fitness went from something I did just to stay healthy, to something I genuinely enjoy and look forward to. I tend to work out in the morning. This really gives me a boost in positivity. I also exercise in after work, by taking my dog for a walk. Ok, so it's a walk, and not an actual exercise routine, but I try to keep up a fairly fast pace and make the walks 3-5 Km long. It is not as pleasant in winter, when it's dark and cold out by the time I finish work, but I still push myself to do it. I really think fitness is key to getting rid of bad habits. The fresh air during walks, the sweat and heartbeat during workouts, the calm of yoga and meditation - these are exactly the things video games take away from me. Movement is life, and it feels so good not to sit in a chair for hours, pushing buttons and going nowhere.
It is still too early to say how these hobbies will evolve for me, but I am cautiously optimistic.
Thank you for reading!