In a world where social media runs rampant and we watch people’s lives through the scope of pictures they take, I realize I become more depressed as I start to compare myself to others. I don’t quite match up to those I idolize and my idea of what I feel I’m supposed to be like and where I am supposed to be makes me feel very small. Their lives seem to be moving at a faster pace than mine and they reach success faster. I’m often hard on myself because my depression is crippling and it limits me. Realizing this causes me to break down often and slow my own healing process. It feels as though I am back at square one.
When I fall into these deeper bouts of depression, I distract myself with games like Zelda or The Sims. Getting my mind off of my worries tends to help. Having Link work on the main quest is fun, but I notice I have more fun when he takes breaks and goes to the fishing hole or plays rounds of games to win prizes.
To keep going on his journey, Link also takes breaks to rejuvenate. Though he is the legendary hero, he still needs time to collect himself. He goes at his own pace and knows that he could return to his journey at any point. No matter how many days pass and are spent at the fishing hole trying to catch the famous Hylian Loach, Link will always continue his journey right where he left off.
This is an important lesson for those of us who feel as though we’re not going fast enough in life. We all travel at different paces and have very different lives. Each person plays the Legend of Zelda differently. I may spend months attempting to 100% a Zelda game while others will finish the game in mere hours to compete in a speed run. Either way, we both reach our own goals in separate ways, with different amounts of time and neither way is wrong.
We need to also remember that pictures are just snap shots of a person’s life as they would like you to perceive it. As we follow Link on his journey, we see his life as a whole and not just through a pictograph box.
He faces peril every day and yet still manages to continue on. We must remember that just because one’s life appears easier, it doesn’t mean it truly is. Comparing without really knowing will harm us.
It’s important for us to be patient with ourselves. Those with large emotions and dealing with mental illness like me can be particularly critical of our selves. We don’t need to stay like this, however. Just because we are not where we’d like to be in life, it doesn’t mean that we’re not doing the best we can. Allow yourself to take a break every once in a while. It won’t kill you. It will benefit you.
Link sits at the fishing hole and breathes in the fresh air and listens to the gurgle of the water flowing around him.
Link listens to fast pace music as he travels through mazes or aims for his target when playing games. He allows himself to just be wherever he is. We need to remind ourselves that we can do the same.
Stop. Take a deep breath in and out.
Where are you? What lies beneath your body and holds you safely in place?
What can you feel? Is the ground rough? Is your bed your cushion as you lay?
What do you hear? Is someone having a conversation nearby? Can you pick up the sounds of passing cars or airplanes?
Can you sit in place and acknowledge more than just what is in yourself or your phone screen? Allow yourself to be present.
There is more to life than the sound of the voice in your head making you worry. There’s a whole world waiting for you to take it in. Don’t worry too much about what needs to be done and know that you will get it done, in time.
What do you do to take a break from the world? Let me know in the comments below!
Have a friend struggling with mental illness? Share this with them if they’re a gamer!
If you struggle with depression as well, here is a song I wrote that helps me remember how to get through it.