Reflecting on personal health, burnout, and fighting games

On identifying burnout and being a goddamn idiot

I’ve written previously about how much I like New Year’s resolutions. They’re a great ritual for reflecting on my day-to-day life and committing to small changes, like daily or weekly habits (like flossing!), that can add up to significant change over the long run. So, while reflecting on 2021 during the holidays, I realized that I had been carrying a lot of physical and mental stress that had just kind of built up over time, and it had added up to keep me in a state of persistent burnout which stuck around even if I took a week or two off of work.

The part where I talk about fighting games

I often describe playing fighting games as the video game equivalent of lifting weights with your brain. Both activities involve practicing a specific set of movements and training to perform them under additional stress; in the gym, it’s the literal weight you’re lifting, and in the game, it’s the time stress brought on from reacting to your opponent. Both activities are also satisfying when you make progress, because things that used to be hard become easy, and so you move on to find new hard things until they also become easy. It’s just that weightlifting tests your body first and your mind second, and fighting games are in the reverse order.

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