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Sometimes We Need to Relax and That’s OK

calmI have trouble with this. I’m sure a lot of other people do too.

Essentially, I feel like I should be doing something productive every second of every day.

While being productive isn’t a bad thing there comes a point where you can eventually stress yourself out and for a person with mental illness, stress is the different between sanity and darkness.

I’ve said before that stress is like the light-switch for when my symptoms start to explode, I need to be very careful not to overload myself with tasks or distractions because if I never get time to think I start to lose my grip on reality.

The truth is, stress is a killer for everyone, it can cause heart disease and diabetes and any number of other ailments and taking on too much can essentially be the difference between a good life and a horrible one.

The point is, we all need to relax from time to time.

Sadly, the act of relaxing has become foreign to a lot of people. With our constant connection to work and friends via the internet it’s hard to carve out a few moments of quiet just to yourself.

A lot of people have forgotten completely about relaxing but there are few things you can do if you have to force yourself to relax.

First, turn off your darn phone. Shut off the computer. Turn off the tv and just lay down. Try thinking about things for the sake of thinking about things, you may even come to some important conclusions about how to take care of problems that have been bothering you.

A lot of people call this meditation and you can practice breathing exercises or pray or chant om or do whatever you want to do, but taking a moment at the very least can be extremely beneficial. It’s ok if you fall asleep. Naps are good just take some time to do absolutely nothing.

It’s amazing how refreshing it is to just sit and think.

A lot of people have this express motivation when they go for hikes or go camping, they chase those moments of quiet reflection and that’s a great way of doing it but you don’t have to be out in nature to disconnect, you can do it at home.

Turn on some calm music if you want to as well, that can help relax you and can soothe the constant barrage of frustrations and complications that are so inherent in today’s world.

Take a walk, take a hot shower, sit outside and just disconnect from things for however long you feel comfortable.

You’ll feel more rested, you’ll feel more centered and you’ll be able to concentrate better on whatever you were trying to do.

I have problems with this as well so I’m talking to myself as much as I’m talking to you, but taking and making the time to relax is essential for finding happiness and contentment.

That’s what I’ve been doing for the last few days and I can remember thinking, last night for the time in a long time that things were good and I was happy with the way things were.

Sometimes We Need to Relax and That’s OK

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. (2016). Sometimes We Need to Relax and That’s OK. Psych Central. Retrieved on October 1, 2020, from


Last updated: 13 Feb 2016
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