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What to Do About The Feeling of Stagnancy

Discarded Bottles
Discarded Bottles

I’ve been feeling a bit off. It’s not so much a serious thing as it is a malaise, a light blue period where I’m more content to lay down on my couch than I am to motivate myself to write.

There could be several reasons for this, from some recent personal and professional rejection I’ve faced to a buildup of the stagnancy of routine.

I’ve been here before, I know the feeling well and I’ve lived with it for a long time.

Things have a tendency to be like waves though, cresting when things go well and falling when you come up against some walls.

I’d be lying if I said I haven’t been thinking about that cabin in the woods lately.

Part of it is that I feel a bit removed from society, I feel like I’m this singular being amongst a planet of species I don’t recognize. I feel like I’m alone in the multitudes I contain and I don’t truly relate to anyone, not even my friends or family.

This all comes to a head when you wake up in the morning and dread making coffee and a bagel because it’s the same breakfast you’ve had for the last however many years, it comes to a head when you get sick of going to the same coffee shop you go to everyday for the same medium coffee and try to do your work because it’s the same thing you’ve done since you moved to this city a year and a half ago.

In that I feel like I need to just get in my car and start driving without a word to my friends and family and see where I end up simply for the sake of experiencing something different.

The point of all this is to say that the sense of stagnancy has come on strong.

Normally, I’d just go for a walk, take a hot shower and go to sleep hoping that the next day would be better but this restlessness has been sticking with me far more than I care to admit.

Essentially what it comes down to is that I think I need a change. Change is good though, if you can wrestle yourself out of your routine every once in a while and do something that makes you get butterflies in your stomach it will be good for you.

I’ve said before that I like to keep things simple and routine because it’s easier to deal with life that way when you have schizophrenia. There’s chaos in my head everyday so keeping things normal and boring is a cornerstone of stability and stability is something that everyone with a major mental illness needs.

On the inverse though, things tend to get boring and sometimes that boredom, that stagnancy hits you and at that point it may be a good idea to try to get out of your routine.

Maybe I need a vacation, maybe I need to move, maybe I need a new career, I don’t know.

I just know that things have gotten stale and I need to branch out. If you feel the same way it might do us all some good to try something new. Taking a class, getting out of town for a day, talking to someone new, taking up a new hobby, starting a new book. These are all things that can take the staleness out of life for a bit and I’m thinking they’re all good alternatives to the same routine that can start to eat at you after a while.

Pulling yourself out of the routine is difficult but here’s to trying.

What to Do About The Feeling of Stagnancy

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). What to Do About The Feeling of Stagnancy. Psych Central. Retrieved on July 10, 2020, from


Last updated: 18 Jul 2015
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