Dead week is kicking off, and soon we will be entrenched in the midst of finals with the finish line so close. That does not mean, however, that we do not need time to relax. Taking the time to recover in the midst of studying and working will often help keep you from getting overwhelmed in the process. Here is a quick compilation of things to do to relax:
Often playing games can be a relaxing activity, especially with the influx of relaxing, casual games that have become popular recently. Here are five games in no particular order to help you decompress from these hectic days:
- Stardew Valley
Have you ever threatened to “drop out of school and move to some remote countryside and take up farming”? Then this is the game for you to relax to. In this Farming RPG, you the player moves to your inherited run-down farm to escape the hectic city life. This game is the perfect way to relax and carry out the urge to farm. For the PC version, there is even a multiplayer option, so if a friend needs to take a break as well, you are not limited to a single player in this game.
- Animal Crossing
In keeping with the sudden urge to flee hectic living, Animal Crossing is another game where the player moves to revive a town. The game is at a relaxing pace that won’t stress you out and gives you nice levels of customization, especially in the more recent games. The drawing style of the game is also one that is cute, with soft colors that don’t hurt the eyes.
While this may be surprising on a list to relax, Skyrim is the type of game that players continually revisit due to the sheer amount of pathways to follow and different styles of play with little to no restrictions of doing multiple at once. The soothing soundtrack is an added bonus. There’s also the option to vent your frustrations by hunting bandits and dragons if that’s what you need.
- Cities: Skylines
Most of the games on this list provide the player with a sense of control at a relatively easy going pace, which Cities: Skylines does that. In this, the player plans and takes care of their cities to provide a good living experience for their citizens. This game is certainly one that you can easily lose hours in, so be sure to keep an eye on the clock if you’re measuring your breaks. Just don’t let the power of control go to your head and destroy your beautiful city with natural disasters, unless, of course, one of your citizens blasts you on the in-game twitter.
- House Flipper
Have you ever found yourself binge-watching HGTV and thinking to yourself “I could easily out design Joanna Gaines”? Then you test your mettle in House Flipper, the game where you play a startup flipper who starts out by cleaning and fixing up homes to earn enough to begin buying and flipping houses. This game is relatively new and has quickly become my go-to game for relaxation when needed. You’ll find it quite easy to pick up and get into. The game is actively developing as well, with a recent input of landscaping abilities to further your flipper profit.
If you lack the time to load up and play a game currently, sometimes something as simple as taking a ten-minute break to listen to some music will provide that quick in-between recovery. In keeping with the game theme, here are 5 soundtracks to listen while relaxing:
- The Elder Scrolls
I did mention above that the Skyrim soundtrack is an added bonus right? Skyrim’s soundtrack is one that provides an ambient sound of what crisp clean mountain air in an orchestral form which provides the listener with an easy listening. I highly recommend the track “Awake” which fully encompasses that feeling. Other Elder Scrolls games also have the soundtrack level of giving a player an audio that they wouldn’t mind listening to for hours on end with little to no ear pain. Oblivion in particular as well carries the ambient quality to accompany you with your mental exile from school work.
- Final Fantasy
Like The Elder Scrolls, the Final Fantasy series has many different soundtrack types to fit various needs of style. There is also a similar ambient quality that is pleasant to listen to but is different in that it’s not much like mountain air and more like a clean open room with open windows and sunshine filtering through. Two specific games to listen to would be Final Fantasy VII and Final Fantasy X/X-2.
- Legend of Zelda
As one of the most beloved game series, the Legend of Zelda carries with it a recognizable soundtrack that when heard injects pure joy and nostalgia into your bloodstream. It certainly is a good soundtrack to listen to while trying to block the terror of finals from your mind as it might just bring you back to a time when life might not have been so hectic. It might also give you that much-needed burst of inspiration to few your finals as a puzzle to solve – or a pot to smash.
- Dragon Age
Dragon Age, much like the Elder Scrolls brings about a sound of fantasy. However, whereas the Elder Scrolls feel bright and open, the soundtracks to the Dragon Age series provide deeply rich emotional orchestral pieces that lean more into a crescendo of strings versus the light ambient tones of Elder Scrolls. And listening to many of the pieces can make you feel as if you’re on a Lord of the Rings level of an epic quest to save the world or perhaps to easily crush that huge final.
The intent behind the Minecraft soundtrack was clearly to provide a soothing backdrop to the calming time of peacefully building through the use of large blocks. This is another sound which harkens back to your childhood and the bright lego bricks which stimulated creativity. If you’re someone who needs a light, repetitive sound to relax in an almost spa-like way, the Minecraft soundtrack would be the place for you to start.
Good luck with finals and make sure to relax once in a while!