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What Keeps Me Calm: Unlearning Things and Discovering New Ones

The importance of de-stressing through what we can—for this writer, it's mobile games and TV shows

 To be honest, what keeps me calm is such a difficult question to answer these days. Pre-pandemic, I would answer people watching and taking photos. I love traveling, commuting, and seeing beautiful gradient sunsets while in an MRT or walking at night and hearing the cars—I could wait for an hour for a bus that I could sit on just by people watching and thinking life decisions just like when you’re taking a bath. As to photography, I still continued doing it as a distraction. I stuck with it because it was what kept me sane and level-headed before.

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The writer's commute pre-pandemic

I never really thought that it could cause burn out too, since I thought that when I’m doing that which makes my heart sing, everything will just be fine. Turns out, it was just superficially covering up my stress. Sweeping things ought to be tackled head on under the rug. Finally one day, that old method didn’t work and I just stared blankly at my monitor. From a passionate worker, to a robot that kept going mindlessly.  


Don’t get me wrong, I love what I do, but rest is just as important as pursuing your dreams, goals, and passions. Maintaining that equilibrium in a period of uncertainty is a challenging thing to do.


So what did I do then? Aside from the classics like reading a good book and watching series, I also discovered playing video games helped. 

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Playing Animal Crossing and Design Home is one of the ways the writer de-stresses

The Bold Type, Call of Duty, Animal Crossing, Mobile Legends, and Design Home


What I love about the different video games is that they're uniquely different from each other. I could go from fishing to using a sniper to transporting to designing a living room. If a video is exporting for more than 30 minutes, I would de-stress by playing Call of Duty Frontline. It runs for 10 minutes, the first team to score 50 points, wins. Mobile Legends takes much longer, because it depends on the team. Sometimes I play with my long distance partner or my brother when he arrives from work, we play Call of Duty or Mobile Legends, it becomes our bonding experience too. Design Home and Animal Crossing are the most calming games and the best way to end the day. Sometimes I get design inspiration from Design Home and inspirational messages from Animal Crossing. Overall, playing video games is like going into a different world—a break from reality.


Nowadays, I’m watching The Bold Type. It gives off a unique vibe because it’s like Devil Wears Prada or Sex In The City in a series format, although delivered differently. It’s in a fashion industry setting with three individuals from different departments with different struggles, all pursuing their dreams.


What Keeps Me Calm: Rewatching The Bold Type

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The show is like breathing in fresh air that tackles pressing issues today. It discusses sexual harassment, LGBT and trans rights, misogyny, breast cancer awareness, parental issues, immigrants, and many more. It gives me an insight as to how others perceive, contribute to, and solve deeply rooted and often overlooked social problems. It balances the fun I get from video games by presenting real life challenges.


What keeps me calm is knowing that we’re all together fighting for the greater good and having all different ways to destress. Learning to adapt and realizing that sometimes, the simplest and most mundane things can be the most impactful ones in your life. 


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Check out the last edition of What Keeps Me Calm, featuring Hospital Playlist. What Keeps Me Calm is published on Fridays.