Mental Health Monday

How To Overwhelm Yourself

Wait, how to overwhelm yourself? Don’t I mean how not to overwhelm yourself? Mm, no. I definitely mean “How to overwhelm yourself”.


Sometimes, we just read about how to avoid overwhelming ourselves and we think, “Well I’m good” because we don’t do those things. Sometimes we might even know that we do something but we don’t do it to an extreme so we figure it’s all right. We haven’t completely broken down, right?

The problem with “How not to overwhelm yourself” is that can also become a checklist of “I don’t do this, so I’m not overwhelming myself”. All right, but are you doing the other things that will overwhelm you?

For example, one list would encourage you to take a bath. Which is great. But are you remembering to say no to people? Therein lies the problem.

So, let’s overwhelm ourselves.

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Say “yes” to everything.

Every offer for coffee. Every offer for brunch. Every commitment, responsibility, and obligation that saunters across your path make sure you say yes. If you want to be overwhelmed, never deny anyone else by saying “no”. Eliminate that word from your vocabulary.

Yes, of course that’s silly when it’s phrased like that. But we do that an awful lot don’t we? Say you’re in a stressful time, moving, mourning, or just a little busy and people start offering to help with coffee, lunches, etc or they want to give you food, come by and socialize, help out with everything. Problem is, you just want to focus on getting through what you’re doing. Maybe you’d like to hang out here and there but you need to focus on you and your life, whatever is going on.

If you don’t want to overwhelm yourself, remember that “no” is a very valuable word in our vocabulary and should be treated as such.

We need space. We need time alone. And we really don’t need that homemade meal or dessert full of stuff we don’t want, can’t eat, or aren’t in the mood for. Learn to say no and learn about what you need and what you don’t.

Drop all your healthy habits.

Start eating terribly. Eating too much, eating only junk food and sweets, and not eating enough should all be on your list if you want to be overwhelmed. Remember too to avoid exercise and dehydrate yourself by avoiding regular water consumption throughout the day.

Yes, it does sound insane when I phrase it like that but when we get busy and stress gets added to our lives, this is exactly what happens. We abandon everything we’ve worked for or thought of. Contrary to popular belief, I think that it’s a good idea to stick to your guns and force yourself into maintaining or even starting a routine.

We need to support our body. We need to eat right, exercise, and drink enough water. While allowing ourselves some more leeway is a healthy decision, dropping our healthy habits altogether is a terrible idea. Yes, it’ll be harder to do them when you’re stressed and yes, you’ll probably have to juggle some stuff around and shift your schedule. But, you’ll be mentally and physically healthier in the long and short term. 

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Over-schedule everything.

No matter what you do, make sure you plan too many things that way you are in a constant state of panic, rushing, and chaos. Not only does this stress you out, it amplifies your current stress so much that you end up making your whole situation worse. And that stress is no good for you. Not in any way.

So what should you do?

Recognize if you’re running away from something or avoiding work. Then, do the thing you don’t want to do. If you have a naturally busy schedule here’s a little tip: start with the thing you need to do first.

And don’t pack your schedule unnecessarily. Making tons of lists, rushing around, and adding things without a good reason just bump up your stress and burn you out. Guess what that does. It overwhelms you.

Don’t sleep.

This falls a little under healthy habits, but if you want to be stressed and feel awful, just don’t sleep! Or sleep less. Or sleep less soundly. It’s a great way to gain weight, forgetfulness, depression/anxiety, lowered immune system, health problems (heart disease, stroke, high blood pressure), etc. Does that sound fun?

Getting good quality sleep for at least seven hours can be really tough. Trust me, I know. There are tons of things that I’ll cover later, but the bottom line is do some research on sleep supplements. Talk to a doctor. Do regular exercise. Limit caffeine intake and watch when you drink it.

I think that sleep is one of the most important factors if not the most important factor in determining how we handle stress. If we don’t sleep enough or don’t have quality sleep, it seems like everything explodes around us.

This isn’t everything. This isn’t even a little bit of everything. But it’s a start.

When I started this blog post, I found myself grinning along with it because I still tend to do all these things. All of have space to work on ourselves. I like to think that our true personalities tend to come out when there’s some pressure on us. Maybe that’s part of why I’m always about being pressured by the world and life.

That being said, it’s hard to to stay within the range of normal stress levels when being overwhelmed is so easy. Because it really is easier to get overwhelmed than it is to fight for normal. Regardless of that, I encourage you to fight for normal. Understand that you might not win some days. Some days you try all day and night just to…fail. And that’s okay!

Just keep trying. Keep fighting for normal.

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