Trying to fit Video Games into my life in 2024

In an era where the demands of daily life pull us in multiple directions, finding balance has never been more crucial—or challenging. For many, juggling personal interests with familial responsibilities while maintaining a full-time job can feel like an unending battle against the clock. Yet, amidst these multifaceted roles, hobbies like gaming offer not just a refuge but a reminder of the joys that make life’s hectic pace worthwhile.

I’m one of those who’s perpetually balancing the scales. As a dedicated father and husband, a competitive CrossFit enthusiast, a professional with a full-time commitment, a Warhammer painter, and an avid gamer, my days are a complex puzzle of priorities. In this article, I’ll share my personal journey of integrating gaming—a passion that has both shaped and supported me—into a life that is as fulfilling as it is busy. By exploring how gaming intersects with each aspect of my life, I hope to offer insights on managing time and responsibilities without losing sight of what brings us happiness.

The Role of Gaming in Maintaining Balance

For many, video games are a cornerstone of entertainment; for me, they are a lifeline—a way to unwind, disconnect from stress, and reconnect with myself. Gaming is not just about escapism; it’s a strategy for mental health management, providing a controlled environment where I can recalibrate my emotions and return to my family and work with renewed energy.

Gaming as a Stress Reliever: After a long day of meetings or a grueling CrossFit session, gaming offers a crucial decompression phase. It’s during these quiet moments with a controller in hand that I find myself easing the tensions of the day. Whether it’s strategizing in a complex RPG or indulging in the quick, satisfying rounds of a first-person shooter, each session helps mute the day’s pressures.

Responsible Gaming: Balancing gaming with a full plate means setting boundaries. It’s tempting to lose myself in the vast expanses of open-world games or the next round of an online match, but moderation is key. I use gaming as a reward—a way to celebrate the completion of daily responsibilities, which motivates me to manage my time efficiently throughout the day.

Enhancing Emotional Intelligence: Games also equip me with soft skills that are surprisingly applicable to everyday life. They enhance problem-solving abilities, encourage strategic thinking, and foster patience. But perhaps most importantly, they teach me about handling failure and success—lessons I carry into my personal and professional life.

Gaming isn’t just a part of my life because it’s enjoyable; it’s integral because it makes me a better person, parent, and partner. By ensuring it holds a place among my many commitments, I not only honor my needs but also uphold a better standard of wellbeing for all aspects of my life.

Juggling Family Life with Personal Passions

Balancing the demands of being a devoted husband and a playful dad with personal hobbies like gaming and painting Warhammer figures is no small feat. It requires a conscious effort to ensure that none of these aspects of life take a back seat for too long. Here’s how I manage to keep this balance and make every moment count.

Involving the Family: Sharing my passions with my family has been key. With two TVs in the living room, my daughter and I can enjoy our individual interests side by side. This setup allows for gaming sessions that don’t cut into family time—she might be watching her favourite shows while I play, yet we’re still together, sharing space and occasional conversations. This simple arrangement keeps us connected even while engaging in different activities. Additionally, introducing my daughter to age-appropriate video games and setting up times when we can play together has turned gaming into a bonding activity rather than a solitary one.

Quality Over Quantity: It’s not always about the amount of time spent together, but the quality of that time. Even on the busiest days, I make it a point to have meaningful interactions with my daughter, whether that’s through a shared game, a chat over dinner, or a bedtime story. This approach ensures that my daughter knows she is a priority, and these small moments can be incredibly fulfilling.

Communication and Scheduling: Open communication with my spouse about our schedules helps us support each other’s personal interests and family responsibilities. We use a shared calendar to keep track of our professional commitments, our daughter’s activities, and personal time. This not only helps prevent scheduling conflicts but also ensures that each of us gets the necessary time for our own hobbies and relaxation.

Setting an Example: By balancing my hobbies with family life, I aim to set an example for my daughter on managing her own interests and responsibilities as she grows. It’s important for her to see that while life can be demanding, it’s also flexible and accommodating of her passions and interests.

By actively involving my family in my hobbies and using our home setup to our advantage, I strive to maintain a balance that enriches our family life while allowing room for personal growth and enjoyment.

Maintaining Physical Health Through CrossFit

CrossFit, known for its intensity and community spirit, has not only strengthened my body but also fortified my resolve and discipline, traits that are beneficial beyond the gym. Balancing this physically demanding activity with my other responsibilities requires careful planning and a deep understanding of my limits.

CrossFit’s Impact on Overall Health: Engaging in CrossFit has been transformative for my physical health, providing a rigorous workout that pushes my limits and helps release the stress of daily life. The physical exertion is intense, but the payoff is immense, offering improved stamina, strength, and overall health, which are essential for keeping up with a busy lifestyle that includes a full-time job and family responsibilities.

Balancing Intensity with Relaxation: It’s crucial to balance the high intensity of CrossFit workouts with periods of relaxation and recovery. Gaming steps in as a perfect counterbalance here. After a session at the gym, transitioning to a gaming session allows my body to recover while my mind stays active, engaging in strategic gameplay or exploring new worlds at a pace that suits my current state of recovery. This balance ensures that I am not overstraining myself physically or mentally.

Community and Support: Just as CrossFit has a strong community aspect, gaming often brings people together, whether through multiplayer experiences or shared interests in gaming forums and events. The support and camaraderie found in the CrossFit community often remind me of the friendships and connections forged through gaming, both providing a sense of belonging and an additional layer of enjoyment to these activities.

Incorporating CrossFit into my life has not only been about keeping fit but also about finding a powerful way to enhance all aspects of my life, from health to hobbies. It’s a testament to the fact that our passions, whether they be for physical fitness or gaming, can coexist and even complement each other, contributing to a well-rounded and satisfying life.

Professional Life and Personal Development

Navigating a full-time job while maintaining a balanced personal life is a challenge many of us face. For me, the skills and disciplines I’ve honed through gaming and CrossFit play a crucial role in managing my professional responsibilities efficiently. Here’s how I integrate these elements into my work life.

Strategic Application of Gaming Skills: The strategic thinking and problem-solving skills sharpened through gaming directly benefit my professional life. Handling complex projects at work often feels akin to strategising in a game, where planning several moves ahead can determine success. The quick decision-making required in many games helps me to think on my feet at work, offering creative solutions to unexpected challenges.

Discipline from CrossFit: The discipline and resilience developed through regular CrossFit sessions are invaluable in my professional environment. These traits help me tackle demanding tasks with a can-do attitude and sustain high levels of energy throughout the workday. The physical benefits of CrossFit, such as increased stamina, also mean I can handle long hours and stressful periods more effectively.

Time Management: Managing a full schedule with multiple commitments has refined my time management skills. I prioritise tasks both at work and home, much like I would manage my in-game resources or workout routines. This systematic approach ensures I meet deadlines and maintain productivity without compromising my personal time for gaming or family activities.

Continuous Learning and Adaptability: Both gaming and CrossFit encourage continuous learning and adaptability—traits that are equally important in the professional world. Keeping up with the latest game releases and strategies can be paralleled with staying updated on industry trends and technological advancements. This mindset not only keeps me relevant in my career but also fosters a culture of improvement and innovation within my team.

By weaving the skills and disciplines from my personal interests into my professional life, I’ve found a way to stay engaged and productive, turning everyday challenges into opportunities for growth and success.

Hobbies and Mental Wellbeing

In the whirlwind of daily responsibilities, hobbies like painting Warhammer miniatures and gaming offer a sanctuary for mental rest and rejuvenation. These activities are not just leisurely pastimes; they play a crucial role in maintaining my mental health and overall wellbeing.

Painting Warhammer Miniatures: This hobby is a form of mindfulness that allows me to switch off from the daily stresses and focus on the moment. The intricate details of the miniatures require concentration and precision, which helps clear my mind of any lingering work or personal worries. This process of painting is meditative, providing a therapeutic escape that enhances my patience and focus. Sharing this hobby with my daughter also enriches this experience, making it a precious bonding activity that we both look forward to.

Therapeutic Benefits of Gaming: Gaming, while often viewed merely as entertainment, serves as an emotional outlet for me. It allows for an engagement that is both immersive and mentally stimulating. Whether I’m solving puzzles, exploring new worlds, or competing in strategic games, each session helps me develop resilience and adaptability—qualities that are beneficial in all areas of life. Moreover, gaming connects me with a community of like-minded individuals, offering social interaction that is vital for mental health.

Balancing Creativity and Structure: My hobbies provide a balance of creativity and structured thinking. While painting demands creativity and a steady hand, gaming often requires strategic planning and problem solving. This balance keeps my mind engaged and active, fostering a state of mental agility that helps me handle other life challenges more effectively.

Role of Hobbies in Stress Management: Engaging regularly in hobbies provides a buffer against stress. They serve as an important counterpoint to the structured demands of my work and family life, offering periods where I can set my own pace and rules. This freedom is essential for personal satisfaction and stress relief, helping to maintain a balanced and happy life.

Hobbies are not just a diversion but a necessary component of a well-rounded life. They support mental health, foster creativity, and provide a sense of accomplishment and satisfaction that fuels all other aspects of my existence.

Balancing a life filled with diverse roles and responsibilities can be as challenging as it is rewarding. Throughout this article, I’ve shared how integrating gaming—a passion that has shaped much of my life—into my daily routine helps maintain this balance. Alongside gaming, CrossFit, painting Warhammer miniatures, and fulfilling my roles as a father and husband contribute to a well-rounded existence, each element reinforcing the other.

The Essential Role of Gaming: For many, gaming is seen as mere entertainment, but for me, it’s a vital component of life that offers relaxation, education, and connection. It teaches valuable life skills and provides an essential outlet for decompression and personal enjoyment.

Integrating Life’s Passions: Whether it’s managing time between family, hobbies, and work, or integrating the lessons learned from one aspect of life into another, the key to balance lies in embracing these activities not as competing interests, but as complementary ones. Each passion brings its own set of benefits and challenges, and it’s the handling of these that enriches my life.

Personal Fulfilment and Wellbeing: Ultimately, it’s the pursuit of personal fulfilment through these varied interests that promotes a healthy mind and body. The discipline from CrossFit, the creativity from painting, the strategic thinking from gaming, and the love and support from family time all contribute to a holistic approach to wellbeing.

Encouragement to Readers: I encourage everyone to find their own blend of activities that foster wellbeing and satisfaction. It’s not merely about filling time, but about enriching your life with experiences that challenge, reward, and inspire.

Life is a complex but beautiful game, filled with levels to pass, challenges to meet, and rewards to reap. By finding what truly motivates and sustains us, we not only improve our own lives but also set a positive example for those around us, teaching them that with the right balance, life can be an immensely fulfilling adventure.