The “Behind The Scenes” series is a chance for us to give you a glimpse into the inner workings of HabitRPG, Inc., the company that makes Habitica. Every so often, we’ll treat you to some silly staff shenanigans or show you the work that goes into your favorite features. Right now, though, it’s a rough time for everyone in the world, and we’re aware of how much it is affecting all our users in different ways. We thought we’d share with you some stories about how we’re protecting our mental health and keeping ourselves truckin’ along! We hope this might give you some ideas on how you can cope with a crisis situation.
First off, redphoenix kept her contribution short ‘n’ sweet: she’s making time for meditation, and “making sure I actually take proper breaks instead of attempting to work through them”. Just because you might be working from home now doesn’t mean you should let work encroach on your free time! Take your breaks!
Piyo‘s words of wisdom included a reminder that when times are tough, we shouldn’t be too tough on ourselves: “I’ve learned to be more lenient with myself when it comes to goals. It’s not realistic to have the same level of focus or productivity right now.” She’s also making sure to keep up with her friends via Discord, and taking breaks in the world of Animal Crossing collecting fish (gotta catch ’em all! Wait, wrong game).
As you can see, beffymaroo concurs with that last bit! She’s also gotten into playing Animal Crossing, and no surprises here… she loves collecting the butterflies! (Don’t forget to check out her post on butterfly gardening!)
Like many of us, she’s also reaching out to friends in new ways:
I’m trying to make a point to reach out to people more, which historically I am not great at doing not-in-person! I’m trying to find fun ways to do things with friends, like the Netflix Party extension for Chrome or watching my local drag performers do their streaming show while using Google Hangouts with friends for voice commentary!
There’s a constant stream of news at the moment, and most of it isn’t good… and what’s more, it isn’t surprising either. You don’t have to constantly beam the crisis into your eyeballs! beffymaroo and shanaqui are both avoiding the news: beffymaroo is only reading the Washington Post once a day and that’s it, while shanaqui has cut down their news consumption by unfollowing the BBC and CNN accounts on Twitter, and using the filter feature to just mute tweets from everyone containing certain keywords.
shanaqui is also throwing themself into new challenges:
I’m using courses from FutureLearn, Coursera and EdX to keep me busy and spend the time learning: right now I’ve just started an introductory course to archaeology just for fun, while also practising my microscopy skills from the safety of my home in a course on histology! Not to mention tackling my TBR Mountain…
It’s not all about distraction and keeping busy, though. It’s a rough time for those with mental health issues, and both shanaqui and Cantras wanted to mention managing their anxiety with medication. Don’t forget you may be able to reach out to your doctor and explain that things are rough! Cantras also has some tips on this:
I’m lucky that I already work from home, but I work in news media which is not great for anxiety. I have a tea called “Tension Tamer” that I originally bought for the cool box design but having some halfway through my shift really helps. I’ve been working out more and more consistently, and if that combined with the start of spring doesn’t help as much as I need it to, I’ll get my anxiety med dosage bumped up a smidge.
She’s also got plenty to do keeping Alvin entertained, a problem all the mods and staff with pets can sympathize with!
Apollo has been finding the use of voice chat to keep in touch the most helpful:
I’ve been keeping in touch with a lot of my friends via Discord. We’re not all required to be on conference calls all day, so sometimes we’ll just hang out in a voice channel during the work day. Additionally, I’ve been able to do some mixing and engineering with band mates, play trivia with neighborhood friends, and received coaching lessons from a chef friend while trying out one of his recipes. Speaking with people (not typing) has been big in keeping things moving for me.
Hanging out in a voice channel as Apollo suggests can really help you focus: you’re not alone, and you know everyone else is working too. Habitica even has a guild for enabling that, called The Quiet Room. shanaqui and deilann both hang out there sometimes!
Dewines is using technology to keep up too, and has an unforeseen problem…
I suppose I’m coping by trying to transfer my normal face-to-face meetings to online. This is not working perfectly because most of the participants are not very tech savvy, but it’s definitely better than nothing. We held our second Welsh chat session via a hangout. We normally meet in a local cafe every Wednesday morning, but we’re trying to keep in touch and practise our Welsh via hangouts. I now have ceiling envy. I live in a little 1980s house with artex ceilings. Three of the group members have lovely wooden beams in their old houses. This morning’s hangout also featured a dog and two pheasants, courtesy of one member who joined us on her phone whilst out walking on a hill near her home.
Down with artex ceilings!
That’s a really quick roundup of things we’re all doing to keep ourselves going. We’d love to hear what you’re doing as well!
That said, we want to remind you all that it’s also okay not to be okay. Things are really strange and unsettling, and there’s no shame in needing some time in the Inn. As Piyo put it:
Accept that it’s okay if you’re not coping very well yet. It’s hard to process such profound grief and uncertainty. Reach out to your friends and loved ones. Focus on what’s within your control to change in the present.
Don’t forget, we’ve also pulled together a post with Helpful Resources for Tough Times, and you can reach out to other Habiticans in your favourite guilds for support. We really are all in this together!