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RB1

Leisure Activities Before Bed to Replace Gaming

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Hi everyone,

So personally, my detox has been more about trying to cut out lounging around watching gaming content on twitch, youtube, twitter, etc. than the actual act of gaming itself. 16 days in, I've successfully been able to cut 100% of gaming and watching gaming content out of my life. However, the terrible habit of bringing my laptop to binge watch NON-gaming content remains. I've already tried and failed to ban having my laptop in my room before bed as an attempt to avoid this problem three times.

My question to the community is...

What leisure activities have you all picked up to replace gaming before bed? I've found activities and project to replace gaming during my free time in the day, but they don't exactly blow off steam like gaming and watching gaming content did for me. This makes me vulnerable during the last few hours of the day for the need of computer time, even if it isn't for video games.

Is anyone else having a similar problem? How did you avoid this?

Let me know of any suggestions you all have.

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I took my computer out of my bedroom as part of my detox. It was half about the detox and half about making my bedroom a place where my brain can relax and prepare itself for sleep. I went thru some really frustrating sleeping issues for a couple months and making my bedroom a place for sleep only has been helpful. I've started to read in bed now and it's helped get my eyeballs away from the blue light before sleep time.

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10 hours ago, NannerZ said:

I took my computer out of my bedroom as part of my detox. It was half about the detox and half about making my bedroom a place where my brain can relax and prepare itself for sleep. I went thru some really frustrating sleeping issues for a couple months and making my bedroom a place for sleep only has been helpful. I've started to read in bed now and it's helped get my eyeballs away from the blue light before sleep time.

I'm trying to do exactly that. Take my computer out of my room as part of my detox. It's actually been harder for me to cut this out of my life more than cutting gaming out has been. I'm working on a way to get this under control. Maybe I need to get rid of my laptop. But I also need it for work...

I've tried to take up reading before bed, but it's not something I particularly enjoy. I've heard a lot of people recommend it, but it's not a relaxing activity for me before bed. It makes me want to game more actually. I haven't read at all since beginning this detox (I've been through many) so maybe I should give it another shot.

Any other relaxing night time activities you've tried @NannerZ?

Edited by RB1

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I haven't reduced my computer time at all really, I simply moved it out of my bedroom. I know this may not be an option for everyone. Well if it makes you want to game more that's probably not a good idea. But maybe try reading something you'd be interested in reading? A fantasy novel or a biography from someone you admire perhaps. I occasionally do some light yoga stretches in the evening but not right before bed. I've heard meditation is an excellent way to prepare for sleep also, however I haven't tried it myself yet. I really wanna try guided meditation soon though. Sorry I can't be more helpful.

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This is a really hard one and I'm afraid there is nothing that comes close to what we were used to. Indeed reading and meditation is where it's at. I'm not quite there, so I just journal here as my last thing before bed. I personally don't have much of a problem falling asleep after doing something cognitively intense so for me it works very well to fiddle with music right before going to bed. This way, the last thing on my mind before sleeping is that, and it helps the brain remember it better, put that into the subconscious. It also projects into dreams more, basically the last thing you do before going to bed has very strong influence on your subconscious programming, so I try to leverage this fact whenever I can. 

EDIT: This is, again, not really solving your problem, but - it's amazing to do affirmations right before bed, perhaps as a part of the meditation process. I haven't really done 'general' affirmations to shape my personality yet, but in the past I've done affirmations for lucid dreaming awareness and it's very impactful. In fact an entire technique is based on brainwashing yourself with a single thought before bed so that you subconsciously remember it during your dream. 

Edited by JustTom
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@NannerZ and @JustTom definitely gave you two really good ones with meditation and reading. Ones I've been practicing myself for the last 11 days. If you're bored while reading, it's like NannerZ said: find another book. Find a book that you enjoy. Otherwise, it definitely will drive you to do something else. And for meditation, I've been using the Headspace App. It's subscription based but I'm doing the free trial now and I like it alot.

But another thing I like to do and Tom kinda mentioned it was to come here to the forums or look in on the stopgaming discord. I'll try to chime in on the conversation here or there and that has kind of helped me unwind in the past.

Honestly though, everyone needs downtime, and watching 1-2 hours of T.V. a night is - I'd gamble to say - less than your average American/European. I watch at least an hour of T.V. a night with my girlfriend. 

The key is temperance. If you find yourself bingeing for 4+ hours, then yeah that's kinda just replacing games with T.V... but a couple hours here or there isn't a problem IMO.

Another thing to do is to pickup a hobby like painting, or some kind of physical art. I'm seriously considering buying the Bob Ross Painting Kit off Amazon and following along with his videos on Netflix. If I like it, great! It's something I can interactively do without too much brain power involved. If I don't like it, at least I tried and then I could pick up clay sculpting or photography (prices may vary by hobby 😉)

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Reading. Listening to podcasts, particularly productivity ones so I can sleep on them overnight rather than rushing into them hap-hazardly, I find they stick a lot better that way.

 

Stretching - having a shower then a good solid 30 minutes stretching always makes me feel so limber at the morning, which helps spring you out of bed and eager to get on with the day - especially if your morning routine includes exercise of some description.

 

I tried journalling at night as well but really lacked motivation to do it effectively, so I don't recommend it.

 

Doing the dishes is another good one while listening to a podcast - nothing makes me roll my eyes more than waking up in the morning and seeing a trashed kitchen.

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9 hours ago, giblets said:

Stretching - having a shower then a good solid 30 minutes stretching always makes me feel so limber at the morning, which helps spring you out of bed and eager to get on with the day - especially if your morning routine includes exercise of some description.

This sounds like something I can get on board with.

I need to start doing this ASAP. I used to work out in the morning, but haven't been in the position to for the last month and have been saying I'd exercise in the afternoon instead. I think morning workouts are the only way for me to go. I never really take stretching seriously, but it's been on my mind as of late. I feel like this would be a therapeutic activity for me before going to sleep. Thank you for bringing this to my attention.

Podcasts are next on the list. For years I've wanted to get into more podcasts, but I've neglected this as well.

Reading, I'll get to eventually. This has been like a life time struggle for me to implement into my daily routine, but it needs to happen. If I can build that into my life, it would be such a game changer. I just can't figure out how really to enjoy it. When I try to before bed, it always feels too forced.

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