Think you’re actually relaxing? Think again.


Shruti Khandelwal

It’s finally Friday. You come home from a long day at school or work. You’ve had a packed week. You need a break. Doing absolutely nothing sounds great right now. You take a shower and put on your favorite pair of pajamas. You grab some snacks and your computer and take them to your room. You get under your cozy blanket and put on that show you’ve wanted to watch all week. This seems like the perfect Friday evening, it’s just what you needed, until.. you zone out.
You’ve been so busy with school or work that you’ve deemed certain things insignificant at the moment, for example, the conversation you had with your friend at lunch earlier in the week. Because you have no present obligations, your mind is free. It needs something to think about. You begin to remember what you talked about. Time passes and now you’re overanalyzing. Did I sound self-centered? Did I have food stuck in my teeth? Did I respond correctly to them? You shake the thoughts away in an attempt to not worry so much. But then you realize it is a Friday evening and you are sitting alone at home!
In the words of George Carlin, “Never let the brain idle. ‘An idle mind is the devil’s workshop.’ And the devil’s name is Alzheimer’s.”
If you are unsure of how you can help yourself, here are some recommended ways to unwind:

  1. Meditation
  2. Journal
    1.  Make a list of all of the good and bad things in your day, and write down ways to better all of the bad things.
    2. Identify what is and what is not in your control.
  3. Take a nap, but not longer than 20-30 minutes — this will help you relax without getting groggy.
  4. If you do choose to watch television, limit yourself to avoid wasting your entire evening and going into an endless spiral of overthinking.