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Take Advantage of the Good Days

How Gratitude and Kindness Go Together for Brain-Changing HappinessWith the rollercoaster that is life with schizophrenia, you come to know not only the bad, tough periods where your symptoms are on fire but also the days where things are calm and you can sit still and listen to the breeze through the trees.

The bad days are hell and you feel it innately but when the good days roll around it’s incredibly easy to take them for granted. If nothing’s bothering you and your worries have dissipated it’s hard to find a reason to overthink.

I’m more than familiar with what it’s like to be so oppressed by paranoia and delusions that it’s hard to even think about leaving your bed.

The reason I’m saying all this is because after a particularly rough time the last few months I got my meds adjusted and now things are pretty good. I try to be mindful of this, I try to give thanks and be grateful for periods like this because I know that somewhere down the line, things may get rough again.

The point is, you have to take advantage of the good times, you have to be aware of what’s going on in your head and when it’s good it’s all too easy to forget. Gratitude is major. Being thankful for the days when things are good is important. It provides a calm and it gives perspective on where you are and how far you’ve come.

Being aware of the good days also allows you to utilize them and squeeze every ounce of goodness out of them. This means being productive, it means finding happiness and it could also mean having fun. Those things are nearly impossible in the midst of the fog.

When your worries are sparse, it frees you up to do things you not only enjoy but that will also serve you in the future. Taking advantage of the good days and building a foundation also soften the blow of the bad days that will inevitably come.

Essentially, this is about gratitude and enjoying the hell out of the good days. They may last for a long time or they may be fleeting but enjoying them and taking advantage of a less cluttered mind is essential to a good life.

Think about what you’ll say when you get old, will you regret not getting out and enjoying the sun or will you say, “I’m happy with my life”.

Things will get bad and you will suffer, that’s a given, but being aware of the good and being grateful for it makes the good even better. It makes you conscious of the fact that this seemingly endless parade of days we call life was not just one big miserable thing, but was spent enjoying the good.

Do whatever you have to to get the most out of the good days, if that means indulging with a good dinner or getting out in nature or spending time with friends and family, do it.

The key is not to waste the good days playing video games, laying on your couch or being a louse. Taking the good days for granted will cost you when you’re so deep into a depression that you’d give anything just to be happy.

If there’s one thing I’ve learned from living with mental illness it’s that.

Take Advantage of the Good Days

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). Take Advantage of the Good Days. Psych Central. Retrieved on September 30, 2020, from
Scientifically Reviewed
Last updated: 8 Jul 2018 (Originally: 22 Nov 2014)
Last reviewed: By a member of our scientific advisory board on 8 Jul 2018
Published on Psych All rights reserved.