The Fine Art of Chilling Out


I’ve been in an ongoing state of ~minor meltdown~ for about five days, which is super fun and completely healthy, and I broke my brain last night and realized I need to chill out.

I have an active mind and slowing down is not easy for me. I am happiest when I have about a dozen irons on the fire as it distracts me from the futility of existence. Key word being “distracts,” one notes I am not actually working through my issues, but instead blithely ignoring them as they compound and grow like a cancer. Then something like a sinus infection comes along, blanketing my brain in fog, and I lose my grip on all the little irons and subsequently have a breakdown.

So, the doctor’s order is to Officially Chill the Fuck Out, which is a learned behavior and certainly not one that comes naturally. Chilling Out is formally defined as low-stress passive consumption.

I’ve been meaning to get back into reading. Since reading has become some sort of civic duty, as all good informed citizens should read and all good writers most certainly read the works of colleagues and foes alike, it’s borderline on the chill-out scale even in its recreational form. But I really would like to get back to where I can actually read fiction for fun. I’ve had a hard time with it for the past year. I’ve been trying and failing to read Jules Verne’s 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea, which is actually pretty good, and I’m floundering with Kai Ashante Wilson’s A Taste of Honey though I can’t be sure if it’s the brain fog or the book.

My fallback is video games, and I have made a valiant attempt, but these past few days gaming has felt less like having fun and more like killing time. It might be time to finally subscribe to Nintendo Switch Online. There are several NES and SNES games I’d like to revisit but I’m only interested in being able to play them on a handheld with modern conveniences (pause/sleep).