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Handling New Responsibilities

Responsibility, Protection And Teamwork ConceptAt some point in time, we all face new and challenging responsibilities. It may be for work, for our family, or even for the sake of living on this planet with 7 billion other people.

These responsibilities can encompass small everyday things — brushing our teeth, putting on clean clothes, taking showers, or eating dinner — or special occasions — buying gifts and sending thank you notes to loved ones on their birthdays. They can be boring and tedious like finishing up a report for work or attending that meeting that you really don’t want to go to.

The point is we all face responsibilities we’d rather not. The alarm goes off in the morning and we’re filled with hesitation.

I recently got a new writing gig that requires essays that are larger in scope and more exhausting for me to write than what I’m accustomed to. This has been causing me undue stress. I’m excited to feel it out because it could mean a bigger pay day than I’ve had in a long time.


It seems huge and daunting at first, as a lot of things do when you have a major mental illness, but you have to ease into it, stick out your feelers and you play it by ear. Then you get to see just exactly what’s required of you and where you are going with this new, intimidating — potentially exciting — thing that you just took on.

I know how it usually goes: I feel overwhelmed in the moment, but I’ll eventually get used to it. I understand that stress can be a light switch between mental stability and instability, but stretching the legs can be extremely beneficial. Each time we learn something new, we have a chance to see just how resilient we are.

When you try something new and your anxiety mounts, self-care is of the utmost importance. First of all, don’t be afraid to take it as slow as you need to. You set the pace. Understand your limitations. Know what sets you off and push past those boundaries ever so slightly. Stepping beyond your limits is essential to growth.

If you feel overwhelmed, take time off. Get out and take a walk, eat a nice dinner, take a hot shower and get a good night’s sleep. Be gentle with yourself. Treating yourself well can make all the difference.

Your comfort and satisfaction are top priorities. If you need a moment of understanding from your boss or your family its perfectly ok to be honest about how you’re feeling. Hopefully, they’ll be understanding and provide a safe environment for you to fulfill your responsibilities and obligations.

Handling New Responsibilities

Michael Hedrick

Mike Hedrick is a writer and photographer in Boulder, CO. He has lived with schizophrenia for many years and his work has been published in Salon, Scientific American and The New York Times. His book is available here You can follow his blog on living with schizophrenia here

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APA Reference
Hedrick, M. (2018). Handling New Responsibilities. Psych Central. Retrieved on August 10, 2020, from
Scientifically Reviewed
Last updated: 8 Jul 2018 (Originally: 7 Jun 2016)
Last reviewed: By a member of our scientific advisory board on 8 Jul 2018
Published on Psych All rights reserved.