Video games are engaging, interactive, and enjoyable to play. Recently, a friend of mine went through shoulder surgery, and as a recovery tactic he bought himself an x-box. What does an x-box have to do with healing?
The video games that he played kept him entertained through out the day so that he did not push the limits of his medically ordered restrictions. It can be a challenge to sit still for long periods of time, especially for someone who is used to working and being active all day long. I was so interested in the fact that video games helped his recovery progress so smoothly that I had to write about it. More people might be able to use this strategy and help themselves get through the physically and mentally challenging phase of recovering from surgery.
Helping With Mood
As my friend spent long hours alone in his apartment, he found comfort in the fact that he could engage with other real people through interactive video games. He communicated with teams, built relationships, and had some humor in his life. This meant a lot to him and helped him stay positive as he moved through the recovery period.
I have also experienced this with my brother, who became depressed after a difficult relationship. Since neither he nor I wanted to spend long hours on the phone rehashing his break up and emotions, we decided to meet nightly through gaming. Since he lives several hours from me, it was not possible for me to visit him, but because we could play video games each night it felt like we were in contact and I could tell that he was coping with his depression. Even just the fact that he was playing the game and making comments meant a lot to me. I know that my presence through the game also meant a lot to him. Video games can help with mental health when we go through hard times.
Physical Recovery Through Immobility
One of the most challenging things that I noticed after my friend had surgery was that he could not go outside. Despite this, he stayed sane. Since he lived in a cold area at the time, and there was heavy snow and ice, every trip outside meant that he’d risk having a fall and ruining the work that had been done surgically on his shoulder. Because he had video games he was able to stay sane through that ridiculously strict expectation.
Having Fun While Staying Relaxed
Rest and relaxation is important as you recover from surgery. Doing school work or work from home can be too taxing, because of either pain medication, fatigue, or simply the lack of focus that comes along with intense healing.
Making the time pass without getting bored is a real trick. Television and movies might suffice for a few days, but what about a few months? When you play a video game you have the added benefit of working towards a goal with many of the gaming options. Getting to the next level feels satisfying, and people have fun getting competitive in an easy going way.
My friend was able to return to work with advanced concrete tioga with a great attitude and a healed body. He physically, mentally, and emotionally survived his surgery and recovery, and I think that it was largely due to video games.