“We are an incredibly talented, creative and community-focused industry. We will work through this difficult time creatively”. – Amiqus’ Liz Prince on how to cope during this crisis

The games industry has reacted quickly and confidently to the challenges that COVID-19 is throwing at us. But, as individuals, we still need to find ways to focus and stay positive – when we really may not feel like it. Liz Prince, Amiqus’ business manager shares her approach to staying well during these difficult times

In these strangest of times, while we’re all facing so many personal challenges, it’s good to know that the games industry has real strength, creativity and a foundation for growth.

More people are playing games right now, the World Health Organisation has given us much needed external validation with many parents, and studios are continuing to hire and onboard new talent at home ahead of them joining up with the team once we’re back together.

Plus, we are an incredibly talented, creative and community-focused industry. We will work through this difficult time creatively, and we’re already seeing people pulling together and supporting one another. The latter is a very real reason in itself to feel positive.

But I also recognise that for many of us, irrespective of the things we know, it’s hard to focus on feeling positive or, indeed, to focus, full stop.

During the first week of lockdown I read a great article which was shared on Twitter by the brilliant Claire Boissiere from Jumpship Studio.

The article was headlined ‘Is Anyone Else Just Barely Functioning Right Now?’ and it resonated with me and, I’m sure, many others. The author, Carolyn L Todd at Self, talked about how she was looking at the lives of others, their workout routines, their new-found hobbies and pursuits and their already ultra-organised daily schedules – and asked herself why she wasn’t doing the same… “Except then I remember something: That the ‘occasion’ is a global pandemic. That to just get by is actually enough right now. And to be not doing okay is normal and natural and not a problem.”

I can’t agree more.

We’re feeling many things right now, but anticipatory grief probably sums it up – a loss of safety and an anticipation of something bad happening. This in turn can cause negative emotions like fear, anxiety, sadness, fatigue or panic. Our lives are full of uncertainty which can impact our ability to function normally or make decisions – causing us to feel irritable, isolated or helpless.

As we navigate through the complexities of life right now, I wanted to share some things that I do to help myself, in the hope that something may also help you if you need it. Stay safe and if you’d like to chat then we’re here anytime.

Pre-empt and prevent

  • Check in regularly on your own well-being – how do I feel today mentally and physically?
  • Keep an eye out for early warning signs of wellness challenges.
  • How’s my thinking? How are my thoughts making me feel, and are they helpful or unhelpful?
  • Looking after my wellbeing – water, food, sleep – is there anything
    I can improve to help myself?
  • What can I change, what can’t I change and therefore need to accept?
  • What needs my urgent attention? Can anyone help me?
  • What are some of my helpful coping strategies, and what are the unhelpful ones…
  • What are my warning signs and who can I share those with?

When I’m anxious and my mind is racing I use STOPP to help

  • Stop and pause for a moment
  • Take a deep breath
  • Observe your emotions – what are you reacting to, how are you feeling and thinking? Give yourself some distance from the feeling.
  • Pull back – what’s the bigger picture, is this thought a fact or speculation, what advice would I give a friend? Reassure yourself that this is temporary.
  • Proceed – what’s the most helpful thing for me or others to do here, what should I focus my attention on right now for the best.

About Chris Wallace

Chris is MCV/DEVELOP's staff writer, joining the team after graduating from Cardiff University with a Master's degree in Magazine Journalism. He can regrettably be found on Twitter at @wallacec42, where he mostly explores his obsession with the Life is Strange series, for which he refuses to apologise.

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