So some of you may not know that Drew and I have been using our spare time when we're not at the cafe to start Twitch streaming video games and board games and let me tell you... It's been bloody amazing!
I didn't know what to write a blog about for a little while now because everything became very rinse repeat, and my routine was stagnating mostly because I wasn't needing to leave the house etc, unless we had work. So I felt myself slumping back into that lockdown feeling where I didn't have time for things I enjoyed anymore, like yoga which had been an on-off emotional outlet for me when not working. But now that I know I have a schedule I have to keep with my followers, I have to have a shower and do my make up (by choice! I could stream without if I wanted), it's added that structure my days are missing. Plus it's just an amazing confidence boost, getting to sit there and share a game I love with people online and have them interact with me about the game. Literally an incredible feeling which has really boosted my mental health this past two weeks.
Additionally, both Drew and I have hit Affiliate status on Twitch! Drew has his adorable emotes which I'll show case below, and a fourth emote when he gets over 15 subscribers! This means we can earn money whilst also doing something else we love (even if it's just a few dollars).
Created by the amazing SammWinnard
So what's the plan with Twitch?
Well for the moment it's a great creative outlet for me. I haven't really been able to enjoy playing games with people for a while due to restrictions, and although I do love Social Mondays on the Discord Server I feel very limited in what I can do. I don't expect to get huge on a streaming platform, but I do hope to be somewhat successful with it and keep it up when we return to longer hours in the future.
Right now I'm finding my niche in the online Twitch community, which will probably be point and click adventure games (my not so secret game passion). I've joined a few different Discord communities to learn more about how to get better at interacting with chat, and about creating your own branch for your channel and it's been a lot of fun to have them support me and come to watch me stream. It's like finding another little family to push me through these difficult times when I can't do my actual job to the fullest.
For now though, I'll mostly be having fun streaming games I enjoy with the people I like and chatting rubbish on the internet. No grand plans just enjoying myself.
But how is it really improving your mental health you might ask...
Well for starters as I said above, routine. I have to keep to my schedule or potentially disappoint my followers, so I have to get all my daily jobs done before I stream because afterwards I'm too wiped to do anything else (except Mondays when I host Social Gaming!)
But aside from the obvious of routine, it's a social outlet for me. I've been awful over lockdown at hiding from interacting socially with people and finding ways to avoid it because I was too drained, or mentally didn't feel up to it. Being on camera though and chatting outloud about a game I love and references to different aspects is just so much more enjoyable for me than typing a text, or online message. I feel like I'm in a conversation with people I haven't seen in months while I read their chat messages and answer their questions or get their input on a game. Plus, I've met some awesome people through joining a new community and even had the opportunity to play games with small streamers I follow in the US.
Finally, it's given me a reason to get dressed on my days off. That sounds awful I know but knowing I want to look presentable and do my make up for the streams make me more productive (even if I am wearing PJ bottoms with my geeky t-shirt!)
I think I've rambled long enough about my new found love of streaming. If you have the chance please check out the Official Meeple Perk channel on www.twitch.tv/meepleperk!
We will be streaming board games every Wednesday 6-9PM and Drew will host other streams throughout the week. If you want to check in on me, Rhi, my channel is www.twitch.tv/rhibles and I stream Monday 3-6PM, Wednesday 6-9PM with Drew, and Thursday 6-9PM.
Take care everyone and make sure to find joy in the small things!
Resident Coffee Addict of Meeple Perk