4 Signs You’re Doing Too Much and Need to Slow Down

Ben Grapevine
3 min readSep 6, 2022

In this competitive world, it’s easy to feel that if you’re not moving forward, you’re falling behind. And competitive people can have a hard time knowing when “a little bit more” starts to be too much. Sometimes, we all need a friend (or an internet guru) to remind us that we’re doing too much. Here are four telltale signs you need a break:

  1. You feel tired all day — We’re supposed to feel tired at night. Sometimes it takes time to really wake up in the morning and be ready for the day. An occasional afternoon nap isn’t out of the realm of normalcy. But feeling sluggish and tired from dawn ’til dusk? That’s 16 hours you’re not operating at your best, 16 hours of ideas and commitments that aren’t winning your full attention. Don’t think of rest as a chore, but as an investment in your wakeful hours.
  2. You’re on edge — Stress and tension are our body’s way of interpreting discomforting stimuli. Our fight or flight centers are meant to keep us ready to defend ourselves in the face of danger. But sometimes, as our stresses build up, they weigh on us longer than they’re meant to. We lash out, not at those who threaten us, but at our coworkers, our friends, and our families. We’ve all been there: an innocuous comment or a throwaway question buries itself deep and brings up some of the anger we’ve been storing, sometimes without us knowing it. If stresses from one part of your life are starting to boil over and infect the others, it might be time to take a break.
  3. You’re thinking too much — There’s nothing wrong with an active mind when that mind is being productive and thoughtful. But when racing thoughts lead to a vicious cycle of anxiety and self-doubt? That’s how you know it’s time to step back for a while.
  4. You caused the 2003 San Diego County wildfire — Here’s an example of doing way too much: you just started a historically devastating wildfire. You might downplay this in your mind, telling yourself it’s okay because it wasn’t the most devastating wildfire, or that you’re in the clear because you haven’t been caught. I won’t sugarcoat it: this was a big mistake and something that wouldn’t have happened if you were practicing mindfulness.

If you’re experiencing any of these symptoms, first: take a breath. Second: recognize that you’re starting to overwhelm yourself. Challenges are good, but too much and you risk burning out. Speaking of burning out, if you’re experiencing all four of the symptoms listed above, comment your name and address below.

Oh, also, if you see a name and address below and you’re thinking about reporting it to the police for potential reward money, that’s the fifth sign that you’re doing too much. So. Just meditate instead and let the professionals handle this. Alright. Namaste.