The beginning of 2017 was a tough time for me. Aside from the stress, fear and anxiety associated with the election and inauguration of Donald Trump, I had some serious things happening in my personal life that caused my carefully managed anxiety disorder to flare up in a big way. As I sought to regain some calm and control in my life, I realized that social media was a massive anxiety trigger, particularly given the political climate. In an effort at self preservation, I deleted all of the social media apps from my phone for much of the first half of 2017.
Like many quick fixes to big problems, this had some unintended consequences. I was still too anxious, jumpy and distracted to be able to read books and news sources were out of the question. I was also only able to interact socially for short periods of time before becoming overwhelmed and overstimulated. Guess what helped to save my sanity? Candy Crush. The massively popular game allowed me to calm myself and check out for short periods of time, while waiting in the car to pick my kids up from school, in the doctor’s office or when an upsetting news program came on the TV.
I found these mindless games to be incredibly pleasant and cathartic and filled a really important role for me during those difficult months. Candy Crush was my favorite, but I also enjoyed Cut the Rope, Angry Birds and Balls. Plants vs. Zombies was also fun, but a little too exciting.
My anxiety is much more manageable now, so I haven’t played any games on my phone in a while. Do you play games on your phone? How do you find solace in difficult or awkward situations? We’d love to hear your strategies for keeping anxiety to a dull roar.