We asked our wonderful community the ways that they handle stress, and we had a lot of responses!
We split them up into three key areas; how to manage stress, which games we use to de-stress, and how we support each other. Everyone handles stress in their own way, so we wanted to explore the vast number of ways we can practice self-care when our stress levels soar. Perhaps you might find a new strategy to try!
How do you manage your stress levels?
“As a completionist, having goals to work towards with clear steps helps me sort through internalised stress, such as things in real life becoming hectic and unplanned. Despite the occasional steep challenge, games with fun trophies and objectives offer a satisfying conclusion like checking off a to-do list.” – Ruby Modica
“When I feel really stressed I head off into a room alone and listen to some music. I find that music can change your mood so if you want to destress then listen to some chill music and beats.” – Derek
“I tend to use mindfulness techniques to assess stressful situations and act accordingly. It could be simply by using immediate stress busting methods like deep breathing, visualisation and grounding or just removing myself from the situation altogether to diffuse my mind with a distraction like…cleaning the kitchen!” – Sally Morgan-Moore
“I’ve been walking along the seafront listening to the sounds of the waves, and taking in the sea air. Just doing any of these, helps me manage my stress levels, keeping me relaxed.” – SithGamiing
“I manage stress levels by engaging whole-heartedly in my life outside of work. Putting in effort to make room for life outside of your work, even when it’s busy and stressful (believe me) is incredibly important.” – Adam Clarke
“I like having a plan and taking action with it. Without those two things, its easy to become overwhelmed, especially on “off” days. Knowing what I have control over and also the things I don’t have control over is key.” – Andrew Pappas
“I really try to take even 10 minutes outside a day, walking round the garden or just grounding myself and being in that moment. Something new I’m trying is if I know the cause of the stress, especially in work, I will set that task aside and go back to it.” – Charlotte Callister
“Writing things down helps a lot. If it’s workload related, I tend to note a list of things I’ve achieved during the day and not just what I’ve got left to do. This has helped hugely over the years. In general though, I just tend to talk to anyone who is willing to listen. They say a problem shared is a problem halved and I’ve found this to be the case over the years. Particularly during COVID times.” – Antonela Pounder
“We all have our own hobbies to lift our spirits and each one can help us de-stress. However, the most important thing is communication. If we tell our loved ones, family members or friends that we’re not feeling ok, they just might give us the support we need or the space to breathe. Talking and being as open as possible can also lift a weight off our shoulders. Speaking about troubles can be challenging, but it can also be the best thing for our mental health.” – Richard Breslin
“I manage my stress by doing things such as gaming, watching movies and tv shows, and going to watch the football, I make time to do these things to help manage my stress levels. I also journal which helps to control the stress.” – AntarcticNinja
What games do you use to de-stress?
“I avoid the games that I know will get me annoyed and opt for something more relaxing. I go for games such as Stardew Valley, for me games like that where I can build, create a garden. But games like House Flipper also, I find if they’re relaxing and cheerful – they can help de-stress you.” – SithGamiing
“Different types of stress require different games. Being overworked with deadlines requires simple ‘checklist’ goals (examples include open world objective markers like inFamous, or challenge map settings such as Hitman), whereas anxiety and discomfort leads towards gaming nostalgia such as retro/artistic games (examples include ICO, Metal Gear Solid 1, Half Life 2, Portal).” – Ruby Modica
“Simulation games always help me escape from life stresses. Call me biased but there’s no greater “zone out” for me than escaping into the Galaxy of Elite Dangerous to revisit past discoveries or look to seek new ones. The stillness of space! Can’t beat it.” – Sally Morgan-Moore
“If I’m feeling agitated and worked up, some brutal button bashing with some classic God of War or Devil May Cry might do the trick. If I’m feeling overwhelmed, I might immerse myself in an expansive open world with plenty of fun side activities such as Yakuza. If I need to focus and be totally distracted, I might play Gran Turismo7 which would require my 100% attention without a second thought of anything else. Perhaps I just need to kick back and relax, which is why Unpacking is my perfect yen game. At the end of the day, we all come from diverse backgrounds and have different tastes. So, finding the kind of game that will benefit us most in our time of need can go a long way in relieving some stress to help lift our spirits.” – Richard Breslin
“Puzzle games, I love to take my mind away from the stresses by having to think about next moves in a game, really helps to change my thought patterns” – Tracy Clark
“Open world games are my go to a lot of the time. They’re so powerful in that they allow us to explore a world so vastly different to our own, with so much freedom. They provide an amazing distraction. For me, games like DEATH STRANDING and Horizon: Forbidden West help a lot to de-stress.” – Antonela Pounder
“To destress, I LOVE playing nonograms and logic games. I have dozens of nonogram apps on my phone and games like PictoPix on my computer. I also have some Minecraft servers that are available for some mindless tree chopping.” – Grace O’Malice
How do you support others during stressful times?
“I like to share mindfulness techniques I’ve picked up along the way as methods of stress management. Things like the STOP method or mindful breathing exercises to help people “in the moment” with stressful situations, or it could be something as simple as having a cup of tea and a chat to break things down and be a listening ear for them.” – Sally Morgan-Moore
“When friends are stressed out, it’s important to make a point that you can make time for them. Not just listening to them vent, but also suggesting spending time with them. Even small gestures like visiting them for an hour, going somewhere relaxing like a local park or cafe, or (with gamers) doing some casual multiplayer to suit their needs and take their minds off of the stressful triggers.” – Ruby Modica
“I reach out and suggest a break from what they are doing and have a coffee or chat over something that they really like. Just to help them focus on something positive.” – Tracy Clark
“Listen to how they’re feeling, what they’re saying and what it is that’s making them feel stressed. Showing someone you’re there for them, if they need to talk – is one of the ways we can help others. But it’s important to note, we can’t force people to talk if they don’t want to. This will only make them feel more stressed, which will impact their mental health further.” – SithGamiing
“I usually send my friends so many memes or Tik Tok videos! I’m also really careful to let them know that I’m there to talk to, and thinking of them, but with no pressure for them to open up if they don’t want to.” – Charlotte Callister
“Offering them a distraction in some way, shape or form helps a lot. Whether this is grabbing a coffee with a friend / colleague, jumping on an online game together or just chatting on a call together. Something that gives others a brain break. In a workplace setting, 1 on 1 meetings are essential for checking in on the wellbeing of your staff. These check-ins give teams the opportunity to talk about anything and everything with someone in a position to potentially help. Just having someone ask you if you’re OK, can really help.” – Antonela Pounder
“To support other people when they’re stressed, I just try to be available. I know how incredibly relaxing it can be when someone lets you just vent for a moment, or even to just know they have someone who will always answer a text message or a phone call when they’re having a bad day.” – Grace O’Malice