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Redshirt Roundtable: September



September is Suicide Prevention & Self-Care Awareness Month. As such, our focus has been on the role of community in Suicide Prevention and Self-Care this month. Stack Up as a charity believes that having a community of people to game with is one of the best aids when dealing with our mental health and well-being. Gaming communities can make a difference by offering a place for folks to gain a sense of belonging and purpose by enjoying games together.


For our September Redshirt Roundtable we asked the community the following questions:

  • Self-care is defined as "the practice of taking an active role in protecting one's own well-being, especially in periods of stress." What are some activities you do to practice self-care?

  • What is something that has helped you when you are stressed out? Whether that is gaming or other activities that you find soothing?

  • How do you think community can make a difference for people dealing with their own mental health?

  • Please share any personal experiences where doing the most basic of self-care helped you.

  • Please share any personal experiences where community helped you or you helped someone else.

Looking for a welcoming community of gamers who happen to be a mix of veterans, active military, and civilians who all support each other's mental health and well-being? Join our discord!


eSkilliam


Self-care is defined as "the practice of taking an active role in protecting one's own well-being, especially in periods of stress." What are some activities you do to practice self-care?

Cooking erases my stress. Usually off the cuff, no recipe in hand, in the kitchen, by myself, experimenting.


What is something that has helped you when you are stressed out? Whether that is gaming or other activities that you find soothing?

Anything that creates an escape for my mind. Music, Gaming, etc.


How do you think community can make a difference for people dealing with their own mental health?

Having like-minded people to bounce ideas off of, joke around with, and chat to when you need it really helps. A big source of depression and anxiety is loneliness. Community helps with that.


Please share any personal experiences where doing the most basic of self-care helped you.

When frustrated or anxious, I isolate and try to do something productive for one of my hobbies. A small sense of accomplishment can really brighten my mood.


Please share any personal experiences where community helped you or you helped someone else.

I was really down after my dad passed. Sometimes you need a small touch of anonymity with a touch of the familiar to be able to open up. The willing ears of Stack Up have pulled me out of the funk several times.



Teavaa - Twitch


Self-care is defined as "the practice of taking an active role in protecting one's own well-being, especially in periods of stress." What are some activities you do to practice self-care?

pet my dog, take long baths, buy things I like (like candles or new smells)


What is something that has helped you when you are stressed out? Whether that is gaming or other activities that you find soothing?

gaming, watching chopped on discovery+, meeting new people in Stack Up discord


How do you think community can make a difference for people dealing with their own mental health?

community helps because you have a group of like-minded individuals (like veterans) where comradery, and no one being left behind, attunes us to helping our brothers and sisters in arms.


Please share any personal experiences where doing the most basic of self-care helped you.

I have been working on practicing "self-love" and telling myself that in my hardest times, that it is "ok to not be ok." I started doing Diamond Art as well!


Please share any personal experiences where community helped you or you helped someone else.

Personally, I think just having people to talk to helps my mental health. I am currently on a Leave of Absence from work because of my grandma's health, and meeting new people in the Stack Up community has helped me immensely.



MzHartz - Twitch | Twitter


Self-care is defined as "the practice of taking an active role in protecting one's own well-being, especially in periods of stress." What are some activities you do to practice self-care?

Allow myself to 'do nothing.' Do things like watch a movie, sitting outside without feeling the pressure to reply to messages.


What is something that has helped you when you are stressed out? Whether that is gaming or other activities that you find soothing?

Gaming, of course, especially if I can find a game I can just get immersed in. Baths. Eat (I tend to skip meals when I'm stressed, which then makes me more anxious). Get outside.


How do you think community can make a difference for people dealing with their own mental health?

Community helps me realize that I'm not alone. Even when I'm not talking about my feelings, just having other people to chitchat with is nice.


Please share any personal experiences where doing the most basic of self-care helped you.

I was having a bad week and a hard time staying composed. I scheduled some time where no projects were due and with no meetings with no goal in mind, just to have free time. I ate, even if it was just snacking, to stop the empty feeling in my stomach from feeling like anxiety butterflies. I went back to an old horror/suspense game that I had played and enjoyed but never finished and watched some horror movies (something about horror makes me forget my own problems).


Please share any personal experiences where community helped you or you helped someone else.

I'm getting back into NaNoWriMo this year and have participated for many years before. It's nice to be in a community where we're all working on a common goal. The escapism of writing is nice too, and I like that other people around me are using it for the same thing. Also, the StackUp group in Whoop and the health and fitness channel in Discord has motivated me to get in better physical shape and establish better habits.


GalliCat - Twitch


Self-care is defined as "the practice of taking an active role in protecting one's own well-being, especially in periods of stress." What are some activities you do to practice self-care?

Long, hot, soaks in the bath… also acknowledging my limits and when I’m about to cross them (sometimes I’m bad at that last part, though).


What is something that has helped you when you are stressed out? Whether that is gaming or other activities that you find soothing?

Gaming, reading, knitting, and cuddling my cats (this last one most of all).


How do you think community can make a difference for people dealing with their own mental health?

Your community provides a support network among all of the members. Whether it’s overt support by being an ear to vent to or just background support by posting a weekly meme dump in your Discord and giving you a good laugh, your community members are there for each other.


Please share any personal experiences where doing the most basic of self-care helped you.

Petting one of my cats in a slow, repetitive rhythm has helped me guide my own breathing when I was feeling stressed and panicky. The sound of the cat purring helped, too… lol.


Please share any personal experiences where community helped you or you helped someone else.

A member of my community posts weekly (sometimes daily) meme dumps in my Discord… and they provide us all with a laugh that sometimes we didn’t even know we needed.



HoneyHands


Self-care is defined as "the practice of taking an active role in protecting one's own well-being, especially in periods of stress." What are some activities you do to practice self-care?

One of my main practices is grounding. Working a remote job and being behind a computer screen all day means I don't get outside as much as I used to with other jobs. On days I'm feeling stressed or feel like I need a mental reset, I go outside and step onto the grass barefoot. It helps reset my mental state and gives me a breath of fresh air.


What is something that has helped you when you are stressed out? Whether that is gaming or other activities that you find soothing?

Getting away from everything and finding a place of silence where I can reflect and sort my thoughts out in my mind.


How do you think community can make a difference for people dealing with their own mental health?

Having a group of people to talk with and be able to depend on can go a long way for when times get tough. Humans are social beings, and having folks who understand you and where you are in life who can pick you up when you're down is amazing.


Please share any personal experiences where doing the most basic of self-care helped you.

I've been planning my wedding for the past year and a half, and as we are getting closer (14 days out!) the stress has been mounting. Making sure to schedule time away from the hustle and bustle and ensuring alone time has been imperative to my sanity.


Please share any personal experiences where community helped you or you helped someone else.

I have a group of friends who I have been friends with for going on 10 years. I know those guys have my back no matter what. We all have an open-door policy with each other and can always sit down and talk when we need it. Having that core friend group/community has been impactful on my life.


DangerTharp - Twitch


Self-care is defined as "the practice of taking an active role in protecting one's own well-being, especially in periods of stress." What are some activities you do to practice self-care?

Gaming is huge. Specific games like Tetris Effect or DOOM Eternal to burn off stress are key. If I'm really feeling it, I always come back to Metal Gear Solid 3 (it's gaming comfort food for me). Also, swimming.


What is something that has helped you when you are stressed out? Whether that is gaming or other activities that you find soothing?

Gaming always helps. Aside from that, just unplugging from the "real world" as much as I can, whether through gaming, swimming, hiking, etc.


How do you think community can make a difference for people dealing with their own mental health?

Community is key for diversity of experience. For me, if I'm alone in my thoughts, those become the truth. Sharing experiences, coping strategies, and perspective make all the difference. Both giving AND receiving advice from friends and community are key to mental health.


Please share any personal experiences where doing the most basic of self-care helped you.

Once I realized how much of a positive effect playing certain games had on my mood and mental health, they have been an invaluable tool to utilize whenever I need them. Realizing and utilizing that sooner would have been nice, but that's life.


Please share any personal experiences where community helped you or you helped someone else.

My community of friends that I've had since my first duty station have been invaluable. Recently, I had the opportunity to help people in a first sergeant role, and that was highly fulfilling.



Landon / BaldEagleTalon


Self-care is defined as "the practice of taking an active role in protecting one's own well-being, especially in periods of stress." What are some activities you do to practice self-care?

This seems obvious, but whatever I want to do. Some days it might be playing a game, going for a run, or watching movies all day. I think self-care is about fulfilling what you want day by day.


What is something that has helped you when you are stressed out? Whether that is gaming or other activities that you find soothing?

Ultimately, running is a sure-fire way to melt away the stress. All that mental drain can get shifted into physical fuel to keep pushing through the steps. Getting those natural endorphins is nice as well.


How do you think community can make a difference for people dealing with their own mental health?

Humans have an innate motivation of belonging. To feel it and be a part of it. That becomes very important, especially if you are in a poor place mentally. The people around you can lift you out of that spot. Our Overwatch team here at Stack Up is the perfect example. Please join our Discord and get in contact with one of them if you are having a mental health emergency.


Please share any personal experiences where doing the most basic of self-care helped you.

Drinking water. If I don't drink water throughout the day, I start to feel off in the evening. Making sure to stay hydrated is pretty basic but very crucial to good overall health.


Please share any personal experiences where community helped you or you helped someone else.

Being there for a friend. Having someone to confide in eliminates feelings of isolation.


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