For over ten months the Coronavirus has been part of our lives now. We’re wearing masks, we’re washing our hands, and we have become experts in online video-sessions.But we also struggle with physical and social distancing, with uncertain conditions in our jobs, and with a lack of human contact at festivals, bars, or anywhere else in public life. Some of us cannot visit our loved ones. For each of us, this pandemic has become a life-changing event. 2020 wasn’t the best year so far and for many people, it can’t end soon enough.
Staying “strong” during this time is not easy for everyone. These days we see a lot of people asking “Why is this happening to me?” or “I’m so exhausted, I can’t bear this anymore”.
To be honest, I can’t give you an answer to this. I can’t say “It’s going to be over soon. We’ll find a vaccine and everything will be fine.”
One thing is certain: It will never be the same as before. The experience of the pandemic will remain in our collective memory – forever. We will remember 2020 as a year of uprising, lockdowns, and a threat to our otherwise comfortable lifestyle.
It is hard to keep up a (mostly) positive mindset when the world around seems to be at the edge of madness. Political leaders, once strong industries, and other fundamentals in our world have become a big mess up and uncertainty in our lives. Which other choice do we have than to grow from it?
In EVE Online we say: HTFU!
EVE Online gamers say HTFU when another player starts mocking about the game or about other players. HTFU means “Harden the Fuck up” and is the EVE Online slang for “Deal with it” or “Get along and learn from it”
HTFU is a well-known term that became popular in 2009 when the CCP internal band “Permaband” dropped their song of the same name.
It was a time when CCP experienced a huge new player wave for their award-winning MMO “EVE Online” and many struggled with the fact that EVE is unforgiving when it comes to “doing your homework”. It gets along with an even more famous quote:
EVE is a dark and harsh world, you’re supposed to feel a bit worried and slightly angry when you log in, you’re not supposed to feel like you’re logging in to a happy, happy, fluffy, fluffy lala land filled with fun and adventures, that’s what hello kitty online is for.CCP Wrangler
Flying your internet spaceship in EVE Online means handling a lot of frustration. The loss of an expensive escape pod, the dirty gankers in your preferred asteroid belt, and hundreds of other things which indicate that the game itself seems to hate you. Over the years, we players have learned to handle this frustration. Because it’s just pixels, right?
Unsurprisingly, we’ve learned from this gaming experience – like other things – to improve our own “real life”. The frustrating elements of EVE Online trained our resilience.
Resilience – this word has been used a lot in the past weeks and months. When we speak about resilience we mean the human capacity to face, overcome, and be strengthened by experiencing a threat or adversity. The goal of developing resilience is, that you do not react but respond to adversity from “the outside”.
It can be learned.
Let’s dive into what is behind this word, why most of the EVE players already have the right tools at hand and how to build up a healthy resilience. There are different approaches to understand this term better. For this article, I picked four keystones from my daily experience.
Every person on this planet is unique. This is a fact.
You are a religious person? Study the scriptures.
You’re more orientated in science and real facts? Check your fingerprints, your DNA, and all the other indicators.
You are unique on this planet.
Realising this and trying to change your own perspective is important. Watching things from a different angle can help you to judge a situation better. How much you compare yourself to another person can be essential to how you experience your own body and life. There’s no need to continuously compare yourself. There is no need to stand in endless competition with other people.
Competition is fine when you want to improve yourself. It is a driving motivation to step up and actually change the situation you are in. But always stay in the right measurement.
Focus on your own small victories. Do not compare yourself too much with others. Try to be confident with the small things you have achieved. This day, last week or month.
You don’t need to be super rich or have a cool car, to be happy.
Try to find a way to be thankful for what you have.
For EVE: Don’t fly the big and expensive ships. Fly what you feel comfortable with and what will not hurt you, when you lose it. Yes, show off your cool kills and faction loot, but don’t be salty, when your 50th escalation in a row didn’t drop anything valuable. It’s a game.
Life can be exhausting. It is important that you have not only a good sleep but also “rituals” or “islands” where you can recharge your personal capacitor.
This doesn’t need to be the super expensive wellness resort weekend. It’s all about the small things here, too. A cup of tea before you go to sleep, a good read of an interesting book, or even a prayer or mantra if you are spiritual. Many things can be your personal oasis. Many things can become small rituals that can act as anchors through your days. They’re a highlight that you are looking forward to while you have to do the things you don’t like. Drugs, light or hard, are never such an “oasis”. They are siphons.
It is also important to draw clear boundaries. To say a clear “NO” when people ask too much of you, or your job seems to become one with your daily life.
This is especially a problem for those who are currently working from home. Make sure, you get off the PC between the “working” phase and “home” phase – eat in another room, try to do things not at your desk but in other locations of your room or apartment. Separate your work space as much as possible from the rest of your living space.
This has a huge impact on your mental balance during home office and the lockdown times.
For EVE: Whether you’re an FC or a CEO – your time effort for this game should have clear rules. Before you burn out.
Always remember it is not “social” distancing, it is a “physical” distancing. You’re still allowed to speak with others. You can phone friends, speak from window to window with your neighbours, talk to EVE friends over voice comms. You can chat with them and other gamers on Discord, Facebook or any other social network.
Being in contact with other people helps your self esteem to feel connected to a community. It helps to fight the feeling of loneliness. Humans are social creatures by nature. Even when you think you’re kind of antisocial or don’t need other people.
Under normal circumstances you still reflect other people’s feedback to evaluate your own behaviour. And other people need your feedback. You can help them to feel comforted and valued when they start doubting themselves.
Keep in mind that you can make a difference with a few friendly words: a call by phone or a simple “o7”,the typical EVE greeting in chat.
For EVE: Flying or mining solo is awesome and a relaxing experience. Yet EVE Online is an MMO. Look for a corporation or a public fleet to go on roams or mining ops and speak with people.
…or better: Training.
Building resilience is a process and needs training like a muscle. It is important that you actively work on it instead of just sitting around and waiting for better times. Maybe you can start a new hobby or discover and try out new things. Make a bucket list of things you want to do. It is like going to the gym – constant training.
For EVE: Undocking is essential in EVE Online. Be curious everyday, scan down your enemies, explore wormholes and try the market PVP. When you fail, undock again….and again….and again. Learn from your mistakes and…undock.
Some of you may already have noticed it. I used P – E – S – T, Pest.
The Pestilence, also known as Black Death/The Plague, was one of the most dreadful pandemics in Europe in the 14th century. The Black Death marched for over 10 years across Europe, Asia and the Mid-East, and killed millions of people.
Yet mankind survived – by wearing masks, by washing their hands, and by physical distancing.
What followed was the “Renaissance” , an age of discoveries and enlightenment, great art and cultural achievements.
I’m very sure. Whatever comes after this Corona-Pandemic – it will be a great time too. We will meet again in real life, at Fanfest in Reykjavik/Iceland and at many meetings across the world.
Until then, HTFU!
Jezaja has been an EVE Online player for over ten years. With experience in the PvP and PvE of EVE Online, he writes a weekly blog and is running a blogcast project, focusing on the German community. “Jezaja’s Giant Secure Container” is also an in-game item which can be traded and collected by players.
Jezaja is part of the Broadcast4Reps administration team, which focuses on mental health and suicide prevention in the EVE Online gaming community.