Take a Chill Pill

I have a hard time relaxing. I get the concept pretty well, but the actual execution often eludes me. You could ask any of the people I’m close to and they’d all tell you that I constantly complain about being tired and needing to relax. It is a constant state of being for me, one that I can’t seem to get a handle on despite my success managing most of my other issues.

Anxiety? Got a cure for that. OCD acting up? I got a remedy to take it down. Feeling super depressed? No worries, I got that covered! Feeling kind of tense of wound up? Well, shit, I suppose there’s video games? No, that’s not working… Books! Well, that didn’t work either, though I really should read more that author. How about taking a vacation? Shoot, I’m all out of ideas. And so on.

A lot of the suggestions for relaxing is finding something that frees your mind of your concerns and genuinely brings you joy. That eliminates meditation because, while pleasant, I wouldn’t really say that I enjoy it. Its more like medicine I don’t mind taking. Exercise is also very good for relaxing, but that tends to only work for physical relaxation and I get plenty of that. Hanging out with my close friends is also very rewarding, but it takes energy to do that, energy I need if I’m going to get through another tense, wound-up day.

I’ve had various things from time to time that help with the whole relaxation thing. At certain points in my life it was the relationships I had. Just spending time around a partner who expects nothing from you but is still a comfort to be around is one of the most relaxing things I’ve ever experienced. I’ve had a game or two I could play to really just cut loose and let everything slip away. Minecraft was that game for several years and Pokemon can be from time to time, though both tend to lose this ability if I play them much.

Dungeons and Dragons is also very relaxing. It is always fun to take leaving yourself behind for a bit more literally than usual. I enjoy role-playing immensely and love building worlds/situations for my players to work through. It has a level of freedom and independence that video games have yet to truly capture. The first virtual reality D&D campaigns with fully interactable environments are going to be freaking awesome.

The truth is that I’m not sure I really can relax. Hell, I worry about not being able to relax. How messed up is that? I can’t seem to relax so I’m getting more tense and stressed out, which is why I need to relax in the first place so I’m only needing to relax more as I worry about not being able to relax.

I even bought some of those relaxation/meditation candles to burn in the evenings when I’m trying to calm down and unwind before bed. All I’ve wound up getting is a rather pleasant smelling bedroom. Which, you know, is nice, but not exactly what I was going for. I’ve installed light alteration applications on all my electronic devices to test the hypothesis that all this blue light is making me tense. I’m only a week in, but I’m not seeing much change in terms of LESS stress and tension.

I have one hope right now. One potential chance at something that might relax me. A new game coming out this weekend is supposed to be super visually stunning, sound great, and just be a chill way to hang out and just BE. No Man’s Sky. Comes out sometime on the 12th. A lot of those playing it on the PS4 (release date was the 8th and 9th for two major markets), not to mention articles that interviewed developers and testers, all seem to indicate that this game is just that. No major multiplayer stuff, no need to interact with people unless I want to, and a glorious, vast universe to explore with no agenda other than to find what’s out there.

That would be amazing. I really hope this game is everything I’m expecting it to be. I could REALLY do with some R&R.

If you’d like a review of the game, check back on Saturday or Sunday. I promise I’ll tear myself away from it long enough to post my initial reactions to it no later than 24 hours after I start playing it.

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