Mental Health

The Pressure to Make Every Moment Count – My Brain’s Not Broken


One of my favorite things about working on this blog is how one post will lead me to another. Last week, I wrote about the ebbs and flows of my daily routine. That reflection led to me thinking about time management and how I deal with my free time. From there, my mind turned to why I have trouble managing any free time. Even if it’s only a moment, I struggle with deciding what to do and making the most of a few minutes to myself. And it’s that reflection that’s led me to this post today.

Have you ever felt the pressure to make a moment count? Sometimes, this can happen when we have once-in-a-lifetime opportunities. Other times, they happen when we’re going through our daily routine. There’s something that pulls at us, calls to us, tells us to make the most of this moment. In times when I can act on this pull, I often try to.

But there are other times, when it doesn’t seem like there’s anything for me to do, where I feel the pressure. It’s not pressure from anyone or anything; it’s pressure I’m putting on myself, on the situation. It’s a pressure I’m bringing in that moment, and it makes things stressful.

I don’t think I’m the only one who feels this way. Why do we put so much pressure on these moments? As I speculated in my last post, it might be because of the way we value our lives and the time we have together. Life is short, we’re told. I’m turning 30 this year, but when I look in the mirror I still see a kid who’s just as confused about the world as I was at 18. I get it; life can move by us in the blink of an eye.

But it also does us no good to put pressure on every single moment of our lives. After a decade of living with depression, I recognize the pressure I put on moments of happiness, of joy. I react so strongly to my moments of joy, it’s like I’m watching the end of my favorite movie every time it happens.

Part of the reason is that these feelings aren’t normal to me, but there’s something else. These positive feelings? I don’t know when they’ll come back again. On my more cynical days, I don’t know if they’ll come back again (years of depression will do that to a person).

But what I forget in the moment, and what I’m trying to teach myself, is to have faith. These moments come, and they go. What makes each moment special isn’t necessarily the nature of the moment. What makes each moment special is that I’m experiencing it, that I’m living it. The moments count because my life counts. And even though I won’t feel it in every single moment – in fact, I can’t feel it in every single moment – I can bask in the times I do.

Sometimes, life is hard and filled with pressure. But recognizing when we’re applying the pressure ourselves is a useful tool. Over time, I hope it’s something I can recognize more and adapt to on my mental health journey. I hope it’s something you can reflect on as well!

Do you ever feel the pressure to make every moment count? Why or why not? Let me know in the comments!

"Like should be touched, not strangled. You've got to relax, let it happen at times, and at overs move forward with it." - Ray Bradbury

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