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How to Manage The Feeling of Being Overloaded

media-overload-1254610-1279x852We’ve all been there. We’ve all experienced the frenzy of having a full plate. You do one thing then you have to deal with another immediately and then another and another.

It’s what happens when you take on a load of responsibility. It might not even be responsibility but instead it’s just the frenzy of juggling family, friends, relationships and work – and all these things are up in the air.

My dad used the analogy of juggling, you have five or six balls up in the air at any given time and you have to consciously keep an eye on each one to prevent any of them from falling to the ground.

I’ve been experiencing that frenzy lately. It seems within the span of a week or two I started juggling a new writing job, a budding relationship, family and friends coming to town, and a new hobby. All of this is in addition to the responsibilities I’ve already been juggling.

I can remember a couple nights ago sitting at home with my family. My brother and his family had come to visit and as my 1-year-old nephew sat in his mother’s arms crying, I just stared at the wall and could feel the fuse in my brain blow out. It was in that moment that I shifted into autopilot and just blanked out. I spent the rest of the night functioning at a base level without thinking or feeling anything else. Later as I lay in bed replaying the day, I marveled at how my brother and his wife, relatively new parents, function at all with the constancy of taking care of a baby.

I wonder how anybody does it and I’m pretty certain that I wouldn’t be able to handle that kind of life. I do have a mental illness which is exacerbated by stress though, so I think my reasoning is sound.

That said, it’s clear to me that people get into these loops of responsibility and concern and sometimes blow out their fuses. I’ve taken to calling it overload.

Everybody gets it at some point in their lives and I think a period, or periods, of it are pretty much inevitable in our daily lives.

That said, there are certain things you can do to quell the feeling when and if it gets to be too much.

First, there’s exercise. A lot of people swear by yoga or running or crossfit. I think the best remedy to combat overload is simply to take a nice long walk. It’s even better if it’s in nature, which is another surefire way to get back to the center of things.

Studies have shown that walking in nature can reduce stress significantly and I agree completely.

Another huge form of stress relief is to take a hot shower and to get a good sleep. I know that when I feel burnout that’s my go-to form of easing stress. There’s something about washing and sleeping away the stressors that a hectic day can bring. A full eight hours is hugely beneficial to getting a better grasp on the numerous responsibilities that come up during the day. Usually you feel much better in the morning.

If all else fails, things usually seem to calm down and work themselves out with time. So although it may be difficult, just give it some time and soon enough things will start to improve.

I’ve been there, I know what it’s like. Realize that you’re not alone and that everybody has a degree of stress in their lives.

Take it easy!

How to Manage The Feeling of Being Overloaded

Michael Hedrick

Michael Hedrick is a writer and photographer who has lived with schizophrenia since he was 20. His work has been featured in Salon, The Week, Scientific American and The New York Times. You can purchase his book 'Connections' here or Follow his blog on Living with Schizophrenia here.

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APA Reference
Hedrick, M. (2015). How to Manage The Feeling of Being Overloaded. Psych Central. Retrieved on June 1, 2020, from


Last updated: 11 Oct 2015
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