Mental Health Awareness Month
When you’re feeling down, what’s the first thing you do? You may turn to a friend, listen to your favorite song, or boot up a comfort game for a few hours. That playtime may go for a few hours, to a full day, until you realize you just spent the whole weekend playing video games! For esports players, it’s expected for them to play hours on end to stay competitive, which can lead to burnout, stress, and lack of exercise. All of these factors can negatively impact your mental health, as well.
In the spirit of Mental Health Awareness Month, we wanted to share 4 essential tips for taking care of yourself alongside competition, so you can play and feel your best!
Find ways to relax
Now it should be a no-brainer that one of the best ways to reduce stress is to relax! But how can you relax when you have a night of homework, including work and extracurriculars? It’s simple—you just need to make time in your day to take care of yourself. Time management plays a huge part in finding opportunities to relax and do leisurely activities amongst the hustle and bustle of life. To start, write down your weekly schedule. Do you have pockets of time where there isn’t anything urgent to do? Set that time aside to go for a walk, play with your pet, visit a new restaurant, and more. Immersing yourself within the present moment helps to recenter yourself and free up your mind, allowing you to relax and start a new practice session with renewed vigor!
Give yourself some tech-free time
We all love using our phones and computers, but too much screen time can be harmful to your mental health. Things like mindlessly scrolling through social media, texting with friends, or playing games on your phone can be distracting, preventing you from focusing on other tasks. Not only that, but excessive screen time can also mess with your sleep schedule, making it harder to get an adequate amount of sleep at night. And so, be sure to limit your screen time. Maybe this looks like turning off your phone an hour before bed or turning off social media notifications during class and study sessions. Doing so will make your mind less cluttered and enable you to focus on improving your gameplay!
Drink lots of water
And no, we’re not trying to rope you into the “Hydro Homies” club (unless…). The importance of water in your regular diet cannot be understated. Water is essential for both your physical and mental health. According to the CDC, “Dehydration can cause unclear thinking and affect your mood.” In terms of physical health benefits, water helps your body “lubricate and cushion joints, protect your spinal cord, and get rid of wastes in your body.” As an esports athlete, taking care of your body is crucial to your performance, so be sure to drink water every day!
Find your community and ask for help
Have you ever heard the phrase, “Humans are social creatures?” Well, it’s true. According to Harvard Health Publishing, “People who have satisfying relationships with family, friends, and their community are happier, have fewer health problems, and live longer.” When we feel like we have support, we feel more confident in ourselves and empowered to move forward in life. Without an adequate community to lean on, we feel alone, lost, and anxious. If you’re looking to find some new friends, try joining a new club, saying hi to a classmate who sits next to you, or joining your college’s esports team! By immersing yourself within communities, you eventually find friends who will stick with you through good and hard times.
And those were just 4 tips on how to improve your mental health! If you have any additional thoughts or want to share your own mental health wellness tips, let us know on social media or through Discord.