Perfect Day

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Illustration by riithewordsmith

It’s Wiki Wednesday! Once a month we highlight a helpful post from the Wiki with tips about productivity, wellness, and optimizing your use of Habitica!

The first time a Habitican completes each and every task on their list for the day, they receive the Perfect Day badge. Every time you complete all your tasks, you get +1 on that achievement — but that’s not all! This month’s highlighted Wiki post is all about that elusive Perfect Day, what it does for you, and how exactly you can make sure to get it every day (or nearly: even the most motivated Habitican needs a break now and then).

The Perfect Day achievement is awarded when a player completes all Dailies that are due that day. In addition to the normal rewards (goldXP, and taking no damage) the player receives an achievement on their profile and a special bufffor the following day (+level / 2 to all attributes, capped at a buff of 50 points at level 100). If the player’s level is an odd number, their level will be rounded up to the nearest even number before the buff is applied.

And of course, a Perfect Day means you’ve done everything you needed to do, so the achievement and the boost you get for the next day are only what you deserve. So if that shiny badge tempts you (and who wouldn’t be tempted by that?), you should definitely take a look at the Perfect Day page to get all the info, and tips on setting up your tasks to make it more possible to achieve. You can find it here!

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User Spotlight: Dr. B of Take This!

Welcome to the User Spotlight Series, where we talk with Habitica users who are experts in their fields. First up is DoctorB, the Clinical Director of TakeThis, who’s chatting with us as part of our continuing post series for Mental Health Awareness Month!

DrB

Hey DoctorB! Tell us a little about yourself.

I’m a doctor of clinical psychology and the clinical director (Arch Psychomancer) of TakeThis.org, a mental health nonprofit that champions the message “It’s dangerous to go alone!” and spends our time educating on and destigmatizing mental health matters. Take This is also the creator of the world’s first staffed, mental health space at conventions – the AFK Room. Aside from my work with Take This, I also have a private practice in the Seattle area, I lead social skills groups using Dungeons & Dragons, and I’m an avid home chef.

How did you start using Habitica?

In 2016, I was at the Game Developers Conference for the first time, and I met Leslie [AKA: Lemoness] after a panel. We got to talking about what we respectively did, and she told me about this cool app she works on that allows you to turn your to-do lists and habits in to an RPG. I’ve seen a few things that tried to do this in the past (poorly), so I probably expressed some incredulity, but she really sold me on it. I downloaded it almost immediately and fell in love. It was so cool seeing someone finally do gamification of behaviors right. When I saw other things like this in the past, they often left out the “game” part, but seeing this as a real game which also happened to help keep me on task was a revelation. A few months later, Take This wrote a series of community challenges for Habitica that have been used by thousands over the last two years.

What some things you’re tracking in Habitica?

I have a few big projects Take This has in the works that Habitica is helping me keep on task for. I also like to use it to remind me to work out. It’s great for reminding me to keep a balance between passion projects and my own health. It’s really easy to overdo effort on passion projects.

What projects are you working on right now?

Aside from all the stuff we do at Take This (most notably building a streaming ambassador program), I’m building a day-long workshop for mental health professionals to train on how to use tabletop RPGs therapeutically. A lot of people underestimate the complexity of these types of projects, and they’re complicated to build. Habitica is helping me build it all a little at a time.  Take This is also writing a new series of 12 community challenges for Habitica.

Where do you like to hang out in Habitica?

Mostly with my own guild which is comprised almost entirely of the Take This staff and volunteers. That said, I love the community at large. Whenever I pop my head in to the forums, I love how supportive everyone is of everyone else.

What advice do you have for folks in the gaming community for healthy gaming/life balance?

I like to think of my goals and the behaviors that interfere with those goals. Games are fun, no doubt, but there are times when I can play them to the point of not going after my goals. It’s at those times I really have to rely on things like Habitica and put limits on what I do. For example, one of my Habits is “No video games between 10am and 6pm”. Given I often work from home, this is a legitimate temptation.

Any personal tips/tricks for using Habitica to manage mental health and wellness?

Start a guild with people who you personally know and talk to. I love having accountabilibuddies that can actually hold me accountable in a way strangers can’t.

Thanks, Dr. B! To learn more about using Habitica as a tool in your mental health journey, check out this month’s Guild Spotlight and Use Case Spotlight!

Caring for the Mind: Guilds for Mental Health and Wellness

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Illustration by Rosemonkey

Hello, dear Habiticans! Did you know that May is Mental Health Awareness Month? In honor of this event, this month’s Spotlight focuses on some Guilds in Habitica where you can learn techniques for awareness and mental well-being.

Mentally Ill: https://habitica.com/groups/guild/54846572-9b87-421c-a2f5-11f72ee8ecfc

This Guild is open to all those affected by mental illness and/or looking to improve their mental health. The chat is a supportive and safe space to discuss symptoms and experiences and to share tips and ideas. Mentally Ill also offers a wide variety of Challenges that may offer helpful motivation boosts for learning more about mental health and for managing symptoms.

Mastering Emotions (DBT Skills): https://habitica.com/groups/guild/109d5b3f-661f-49cf-ad1d-53de129ecaf5

Mastering Emotions is a space for Habiticans who are using DBT (Dialectical Behavior Therapy) to manage difficult feelings and the situations around those feelings. Check it out for a welcoming and encouraging chat and a long list of Challenges for learning about DBT methods and for developing skills for emotional management.

ADHDers Guild: https://habitica.com/groups/guild/17848f38-0418-4764-9fe8-91fdc9950e32

This is a large community on Habitica dedicated to creating a supportive and helpful environment for folks with ADD/ADHD. Their Guild description has a tremendous collection of helpful resources, and the chat space there is kind, friendly, and active. ADHDers also hosts a number of Challenges for help, motivation, and for learning more about ADHD and related conditions.

Anxiety Alliance: https://habitica.com/groups/guild/1da5ae22-6659-4600-9951-905f923c9373

This Guild is devoted to those working through anxiety-related mental illness. There’s an active and supportive chat for Guild members to discuss experiences and share tips. There are also a bunch of helpful Challenges–including several that repeat monthly–to help with anxiety management, meditation, and getting out of your comfort zone.

These Guilds and many, many others are here to give you helpful information and community support as you work on improving your mental health and wellness! In fact, there are so many Guilds on Habitica devoted to this topic that we’ll be doing another post (or two!) on this topic in the future.

There’s also a Use Case Spotlight post this week featuring mental health related tips from fellow Habiticans! Until next time, take care. ❤

Use Case Spotlight: Mental Health and Wellness!

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Illustration by Rosemonkey

Hello Habiticans! Last month, we looked at ideas from your fellow players for using Habitica as you work to make a positive difference in your community and the world! This time, in honor of Mental Health Awareness Month, we’re looking at making positive change even closer to home. These great ideas for using Habitica to help manage your mental health and wellness come from your fellow players in the Use Case Spotlights Guild!

sunray notes that a simple Daily reminding us to focus on the good can be an important boost:

I use Habitica to bolster my mental health in the face of chronic illness. Having a Daily to support focusing on the things I’m grateful for has worked really well in helping me stay positive, and the fact that it encourages me to share those things with the people around me strengthens my social connections, too! My Daily is “Express sincere gratitude.” Habitica also helps me meditate daily and make the kind of choices every day that support my best functioning.

Dr_Zoidberg uses the motivation of Challenges to improve their mental and physical health habits:

Habitica has been the most effective tool to date in getting me to change my health and wellness habits for the better. For the last two months I’ve been signing up for challenges that don’t upend my current lifestyle but adjust it enough for the better that each improvement gives a lasting change. I treat my avatar’s life as my own because in the end, that’s what it is. The challenges I choose include physical (steps, exercise, posture, etc.), diet & nutrition, as well as mental well-being/self-confidence. Together the changes have made me happier, more determined, able to recover from “bad days” faster, and I’ve set a long term goal with a specific action plan to get there. I plan to go from little or no exercise weighing ~285lbs to running in a 5K in roughly 13 months time from now. I will adjust every step forward each month based on my progress in the previous, but I’ve set milestones to reach along the way to show exactly how my progress can and will reach that goal. So far I’ve made more progress in the last two months than I have in the last five years. Cheers!

Dagger-13 uses Dailies to face and work through intimidating or difficult tasks that need to get done:

I was a bit wary of joining Habitica when I first heard about it last year, as my coping mechanism for anxiety is to set rules for myself and I was concerned that I might end up using Habitica as an extension of that. However, I am at a stage of managing my anxiety where I can use the system responsibly and as a tool for recovery – I just have to be careful that it doesn’t become a crutch.

I use it as part of my ‘exposure therapy’ – once I identify a ‘task’ I need to expose myself to, I will set it as a daily to give myself the incentive to do it and to make myself accountable. Doing this makes me accountable without having to discuss with others exactly what I’m doing, so it enables me to take external confirmation out of the equation (another comfort mechanism I had – asking others if what I was doing is ‘good’), but if I don’t do it, the task will damage the rest of my party. In addition to this, it works as a relatively harmless ‘punishment’ for not doing the task, so if for any reason I don’t do it I get the damage and move on rather than spiralling into negative self-talk or compensatory behaviour to the same degree that I would have before.

Once I’ve gotten used to exposing myself to the task and it becomes easier, I then remove it from Habitica so that it becomes a more natural habit, one which I don’t have to think about or reward myself for doing. This method gives me the initial push to face my anxiety, and then healthily allows me to let it go.

chikadee provides us with a multitude of awesome examples of ways to use tasks to manage mental health and wellness!

I created an imgur album of screenshots with some explanations here. I have ADHD and some other mental health problems and Habitica has helped me with my self-esteem, self-acceptance, and self-care. The Clean Every Day challenge has helped me realize that any progress, even the tiniest bit, is okay. I struggle with cleaning a lot with my ADHD and cleaning the house is one of the most upsetting and stressful things for me. Habits help me view my progress and see the progress I’ve made even when it doesn’t seem like it. Habitica has helped me find a way to work within my limitations (which sounds bad but I can’t think of a better word). By creating habits and dailies and wording them in a fun RPG way or participating in challenges I’m able to frame what I struggle with and the tools I use to help myself in a fun and positive light. It makes every day living and everyday boring self-care tasks fun. There’s been a marked difference in my ADHD as I’ve gotten better at cleaning and I’ve made considerable progress with my nail biting with help from the BFRB guild (I even created my first challenge!)

There were so many helpful and exciting tips we couldn’t feature them all here! You can see them all and join in the discussion in the Use Case Spotlights Guild. One of your ideas could be featured next month! Look for an announcement of next month’s theme from Bailey soon.

And lastly, if you missed it you may want to take a look at our most recent Guild Spotlight, where we’ve highlighted groups that can provide further support and motivation in your mental health journey!