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How Taking a Vacation Can Bring Relief

mountaintownEver since the New Year, I’ve bogged myself down in worries. There have been worries about work, about relationships, about friends and about social anxiety. It got to the point where I was obsessing about things I couldn’t change, losing sleep over insignificant details.

Finally, I decided it would be good to get away for a few days. I made a reservation at a condo in a small mountain town thirty five miles up the road.

During the summer the town is bustling with tourist activity but during the winter it’s as calm and as quiet as can be and I think I needed that.

The thing about getting away for a few days is that it takes you literally and figuratively out of your life, out of the stressors that you’ve been putting on yourself and it frees up an immense amount of room to breathe.

As a person with schizophrenia, I really have to be careful about stressors. I have to be careful that I don’t overwhelm myself with tasks that don’t have that much importance. See, I tend to dwell on little things and just getting a change of scenery helped me immensely by making the things I was most worried about into just passing thoughts.

Another great thing about vacations is that they provide you with a sense of anonymity. Going to a town where you know no one, you’re free to change the way you’ve been doing things because you’re not seeing the same faces and are therefore not expected to perform like you always have. Being anonymous is like starting an entirely new way of life and it allows you to practice ways of being that you wouldn’t have practiced before. Even if it’s just a few days.

Another thing about getting away is that it gives you a different perspective on things, It causes you to re-think things you’ve taken for granted because you’re out of your normal routine. This frees up space to try new things and who knows, you may even come to like the new things or the new ways of working that you didn’t do before.

We all need breaks sometimes, we all need to go someplace new. Even if it’s just for a short period, taking yourself out of your situation full of stressors at home makes it that much easier to see them for how likely insignificant they are.

For me, it had been a couple years since I took time for myself, just escaped for a little while and being alone, and solitary with no one to depend on or provide for gave me an immense relief.

Getting away also helped me decide some definitive things that I want to do and that I want to stop doing, it was like floodgates of realizations opened after just a day in the small mountain town.

The goal now, now that I’m back in my regular life is to incorporate those realizations into how I’m doing life, to let go of the things that cause me stress and to start working on the things I really want to do.

We all know vacations are great but the freedom of it likely doesn’t hit us until we actually go.

If you’re having trouble, think about taking some time for yourself. I certainly didn’t realize how much it would help me.

How Taking a Vacation Can Bring Relief

Michael Hedrick

Michael Hedrick is a writer and photographer who has lived with schizophrenia since he was 20. His work has been featured in Salon, The Week, Scientific American and The New York Times. You can purchase his book 'Connections' here or Follow his blog on Living with Schizophrenia here.

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APA Reference
Hedrick, M. (2015). How Taking a Vacation Can Bring Relief. Psych Central. Retrieved on July 4, 2020, from


Last updated: 17 Jan 2015
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