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Gaming Burnout? Here Are 10 Hobbies to Explore

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Too much of anything can affect your state of mind, even gaming.

When I look back at my childhood, I can’t recall a time where I didn’t want to play video games. Gaming burnout was something I would never experience.

Fast forward to today and things are much different. I still enjoy gaming with a passion, but no longer in excess.

The best way to describe this feeling is that I would lose my sense of care for the game I’m playing. I’d rather sit in my chair (or lay in my bed) and do nothing than play a video game. It’s awkward to explain.

Naturally, my intuition tells me to take a break from gaming. And that’s what I do. I explore various hobbies as well as other activities during my free time.

After a while, I start to crave video games again. My return to gaming always feels like a breath of fresh air. I go from feeling bored/uninterested to happy and eager to jump back in.

Are you in a similar situation with gaming burnout?

Take a break, spend some time with a new hobby, and return to gaming once you feel the desire to play.

Below are 10 of my favourite hobbies I enjoy when I don’t feel like gaming. I hope you find something that interests you!

1. Movies/TV-Shows

a man in front of a movie poster.

This first hobby might stir up some discussion. From my research, a lot of people recognize watching movies and tv-shows as a genuine hobby. While others see this as a way to kill time. It can be both.

According to the Oxford dictionary, a hobby is “an activity done regularly in one’s leisure time for pleasure.” For most people, this definition can apply to movies/tv-shows. Checkmate, internet!

I primarily view movies/tv-shows as an art form. Similar to gaming, movies/tv-shows can pull me into their worlds with their story, cinematography, acting, or music. Some of my fondest memories are from watching movies.

I also watch documentaries as a way to expand my knowledge on certain subjects. They’re excellent for learning about different cultures, history, current trends, and more.

As long as you don’t turn into a couch potato, watching movies/tv-shows is an enjoyable hobby to partake in.

2. Cooking

A before and after image for a loaf of banana bread.

Like movies, cooking is also considered an art form. However, I see cooking a bit differently. I would describe my cooking as fun(and tasty!) science experiments.

What I like about cooking is the variety of things I can make. Combining my favourite foods and ingredients to produce a finished product is a wonderful experience.

One of the reasons why cooking is a good hobby is that it’s relatively cheap to get into. All you need are the ingredients and potentially a few tools for your kitchen.

I even got into the habit of meal prepping on Sundays thanks to cooking. This saves me a lot of time as well as improves my relationship with the food I eat.

And, because of the internet, you can easily access millions of recipes online. Want to bake a cake? Cook some stirfry? Something Italian? You have a ton of options!

3. Reading Books

A stack of books on a night stand.

As a child, I did not enjoy reading books. Reading was boring and it felt like a chore. When I’d see massive and congested paragraphs on a page, I would lose interest fairly quickly — Not so much today.

I now see books in a different light. Books are my vehicle for knowledge and entertainment. They have helped me learn new skills, improved my vocabulary, and changed my viewpoint on various aspects of life.

In 2019, I went from reading absolutely nothing to finishing five books by the end of the year. These are probably rookie numbers to the average bookworm. To me, this is a tremendous achievement.

My favourite books I’ve read recently include the Metro Series (inspired the video games) by Dmitry Glukhovsky and Everybody Writes by Ann Handley.

Reading isn’t for everyone, but give it a chance. There’s always something new and interesting to discover from books. And yes, comic books and manga count as books!

4. Writing/Blogging

Home page for The Balanced Gamer.

As you can tell from my previous posts, writing is something I recently got into. I can’t explain why I started this hobby, but I can tell you that I’m having a lot of fun with it.

Journaling, or creative writing, was something I never participated in. I thought it was stupid or weird (or for girls only).

Despite my past opinions, writing for my blog has taught me to be transparent and open about how I truly feel. Sharing my gaming and fitness knowledge with random people on the internet is fun. When I get burned out from a game, I open WordPress and write a blog post!

Maybe blogging isn’t your cup of tea. That’s OK!

There are plenty of ways you can start writing as a hobby. Here are some examples: Posting/replying to comments (Youtube, Twitter, Reddit, etc.), write to a penpal, text chat in MMO/MOBA games, record your workouts and meals in a fitness journal.

5. Hiking/Adventuring

A man at the top of Mt. Erskine looking into the distance.

Gamers? Outside? Nature? What is this madness?!

It’s true. I love the outdoors. Ever since I moved to British Columbia, hiking has been a joy of mine. My community is brimming with mountains, trails, parks, historical sites, and more to explore.

Whether you’re walking, or climbing, going on hikes is a great way to burn calories and improve your cardiovascular health. Can’t see any trails nearby? I use AllTrails to find my next adventure.

Another benefit of hiking is the amount of sunlight you’re exposed to. As a Canadian, vitamin D is a nutrient we’re commonly deficient in. This is due to the angle of the sun as well as UVB getting absorbed in the atmosphere. Thus, May to October is my hiking season.

Plus, the outside world has some pretty decent graphics (at least where I live).

6. Music

A list of albums on Spotify.

Listening to music is one of my favourite things to do during the day. Since I was a child, music has followed me everywhere. In the car, at home, on my phone, the gym, and in the video games I play.

Music (playing or listening) is considered both a therapeutic and stimulating hobby. Workout sessions, including intense gaming moments, are always more enjoyable when I have music in the background.

The most fascinating thing about music is the variety of genres to explore. While I primarily listen to electronic music and hip-hop, I love taking a look at what other genres have to offer.

Metal, classical, and jazz music are genres that I’m interested in but have not taken the time to thoroughly indulge. Is there a certain genre of music you’re curious about?

If so, listen to a track or two. You might discover your next favourite artist or genre!

7. Collecting

A collection of hip-hop vinyl records with a cat.

I started collecting during the early 2000s. Trading cards (Pokemon and Yu-Gi-Oh!) and rocks & minerals were my favourite things to collect. As of 2018, I began a vinyl record collection! But, why?

To be honest, I don’t have an intelligent answer behind my collections. If something looks cool or sparks my desire to learn, I want it.

However, depending on what you’re interested in, collecting can get quite expensive. Which is why I only purchase things for my collection when I have disposable income to spare.

Collecting is also an excellent hobby for building social connections. There are online forums as well as annual conventions that bring people together to share their passion for specific items.

Here are some ideas for your potential collection: Coins, stamps, comic books, maps, sand from beaches, jewelry, artwork, cars, vintage video games/consoles.

8. Learning a Second Language

An English to Greek translation from Google.

I recently started a bucket list for myself. One of the first things I wrote down is to learn a second language. I always had a desire to speak to people outside of my primary language (English).

Deciding which language to learn, initially, was difficult. Though, after some consideration, I decided to go with Greek. This because nearly everyone on my father’s side of the family speaks fluent Greek; which is a big plus when I eventually practice speaking Greek.

What are the benefits of learning a second language? For me, it’s to build a deeper bond with my family, to learn more about the Greek culture, and to potentially boost my career opportunities.

In terms of mental benefits, you can improve your cognitive function, memory, and multi-tasking skills with a second language.

If you ever decide to travel to a new country for vacation or work, knowing a second language will put you at a huge advantage.

9. Sports & Fitness

A man performing a dumbbell lunge in his living room.

A physical activity is a great hobby to have when you want to unplug. Not only will you be burning calories, but you might also meet new friends and learn something new in the process.

When I was growing up, I had the opportunity to participate in many activities. My favourites include rock climbing, tennis, basketball, and weightlifting. At the moment, I do weightlifting four-to-five times a week, at the gym and at home.

I pay about $50 CAD a month for my gym membership. I can imagine some of you might not have access to a gym. No problem. There are many inexpensive options to choose from. This includes running, basketball, soccer, callisthenics, swimming, and more.

A benefit to sports/fitness is you sometimes have the option to play by yourself or with a team. I, for one, enjoy working out alone. Though I’m open to doing group sessions when I get the chance!

10. Coding/Programming

Lines of HTML code for a blog site.

In an era where everything is controlled by technology, coding is more important than ever before!

I learned the basics of HTML and CSS via my college program. And boy, it has helped me significantly with creating my blog site. Web pages are much easier to design, create, and publish with what I’ve learned.

In addition to web design, there are other programming languages that assist in specific tasks. Some examples include JaveScript (modifies web page elements), SQL (data storage and manipulation), Python (creates web applications), C++ (used for creating computer programs/games), and more.

You can learn to code for FREE with the help of sites like W3Schools and freeCodeCamp.

If you enjoy problem-solving as well as have an interest in developing websites/apps, then coding is a perfect hobby to explore!

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