Gaming for my sanity

August 12, 2021

When I first started this column, I was 19 years old. The 20s are a time of self-discovery – of figuring out who you really are and who you aspire to be. Over the past several years, I have learned a lot about myself – about what my needs are and what keeps me feeling fulfilled. This may sound silly, but I have learned that playing video games is one of the ingredients I need to keep me feeling happy, productive and satisfied.

As an almost 30-year-old woman, I can sometimes go weeks or even months without playing a video game. Life gets busy - work, responsibilities … all that adulty stuff. It can be really easy to forget to do things you like doing. Hobbies. Things that aren’t monetized. In a culture of “side hustles,” sometimes we end up with no true hobbies left. When’s the last time you did something just for fun without feeling guilty about neglecting work, chores or some other responsibility? For me, it is absolutely essential to play video games - single-player video games - in order to avoid burnout in every area of my life.

Every week, I schedule time in my planner to do something for me, something I enjoy and that gives me an escape from reality. This is usually going for a hike, playing in my art journal, or playing a video game. Sometimes it’s doing paper crafting about video games (see photo). Last weekend, I set aside some time to play The Last of Us Part II. I finally completed my Survivor + playthrough, and I immediately jumped back in for another playthrough. I am working on the Platinum trophy, which is something I haven’t made time for in a long time. I don’t have as much time for video games as I would like, but it’s important for me to make sure I don’t leave this passion and hobby behind as adulting takes over.

If you are feeling burnt out, bored or stressed, do something that brings back that sense of childhood joy – that feeling of being carefree and doing something just for fun. Pull out your old PS2 and play one of your favorite childhood games, and then tell me you don’t feel better afterward. 

Even if it’s just for half an hour, make time to do things you love just because they bring you joy. Let go of the guilt, and know that you are allowed to enjoy things that don’t line your pockets.

Do you feel burnt out when you don’t take time to play games or do something else you love? Let me know on Twitter - @pixelsnplanners.

  • Cassie Gotto-White is a gamer, a planner babe, and a boba tea fanatic. She discovered her passion for video games at age six when she was given an NES Top Loader by her aunt. Her current main consoles are the PlayStation 5 and Nintendo Switch. Some of her favorite games include The Last of Us, the Uncharted series, the Yakuza series, Persona 5, and Night in the Woods. Follow her on Instagram at @planningwithcass and YouTube at

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