playing online games

Playing Online Games Guilt-Free + 6 Ways It Helped Me Cope Through the Pandemic

It is undeniable that the COVID-19 pandemic has affected our lives in many ways, including how we choose to spend our time and deal with unprecedented circumstances.

For those who have been following me on social media, you may have seen that I have slowly started going outside again.  Little by little I am trying to live with the pandemic as it is unrealistic and unhealthy to stay at home forever.

But before that I must admit, I have turned into playing online games on my computer or my mobile phone during the period I kept myself and my family locked in.

At the height of the pandemic I used to play makeover games, something to keep myself busy and occupied and reward as it gave me a sense of purpose and the illusion of being productive when I’m actually feeling useless.

Later on, I have found myself looking for older games that I have a fond memory of and that are easy/familiar like Zuma Ball,  Word Search, Tetra Blocks, and yes Solitaire.

Long before the internet has this speed as much as we have now, yes we complain of slow speeds but you never know slow speed when you started with dial-up and hear that annoying connecting tone.  You also have to be disconnected from your land line to get connected to the internet.  Yes, I have been through a lot and those were the days.

Anyway, playing Zuma Ball has brought me back to the time I was a journo, waiting in the press room for breaking news or a press conference or sort.  Or just waiting until my sorta shift ends.  Playing these match 3 game type of game helps me relax but then its a challenge to get to a higher level as the balls and the Zuma gets longer and longer making it harder and harder to match 3.

zuma ball online games

And then the Tetra Blocks, kinda like Tetris, this is the classic game I used to play as a kid. We were not rich but there is a rental of the game gadget and I rent for a day.  Yeah,  there was a time you can rent something like this and people actually return it hah!  this one at the Solitaire.Org is a little different in design as it is neon in color and has a sort of shadow of the blocks, a lot easier than before.

And then yes, the classic solitaire our Granny and Gramps used to play by the porch to pass time with. They use a real deck of cards, but we are used to this drag and click thing.

I also love Word Search Games because it helps sharpen my mind.  Oh , all these games I mentioned above are available at Solitaire.Org .  I wish they have more arcade games like Pacman and Battleship.

Anyway, here are the 5positive ways playing online games has helped me cope during the pandemic:

  1. Kept my mental health in check. Games have helped me with anxiety as it has given me something else to focus on. It has made me less anxious compared to spending time on social media and seeing all those bad news in there.
  2. Stress Relief
    Playing feel-good games to chill and relax helps me a lot. My mind sometimes sinks into the game and there is no time to worry about the outbreak.
  3. Escape
    It helps create a distraction from everything else and it is also a good exercise for the brain.  It is a  good cognitive stimulation
    that helps keep my mind busy, and sharp.  It helped me not get bored and made quarantine barely a problem.
  4. Reward
    Playing online games, especially those I have to makeover a house or a person, gives me a sense of purpose. Something to work towards and a sense of achievement. The reward system in these kinds of games gives me the illusion of productivity.
  5. Sense of normalcy
    I normally play games before I go to bed or when I still don’t want to work.  Playing games provide structure and routine, a world to go to at particular times every day, helped fill in where my personal routine was gone.  Including games in my daily routine also helps demarcate work life from home life, in the absence of a normal routine or commute.

There was a time I barely want to do anything but finish my games or a level and because of that I hardly do anything, wasting my time so much and being less productive.  But I think that was when I was in my depressed state and that games became a time-sink when I should be doing a lot of other things like home chores and work.

How about you, have you been playing online games?  What are they? Comment below!