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Motivational Monday: How To Have a Mental Breakdown in 11 Easy Steps

Hey guys.

I found this great article by Jason Kotecki that made me smile. I hope you enjoy it!

How To Have a Mental Breakdown in 11 Easy Steps

By Jason Kotecki

Have you ever wondered to yourself, “How can I add more stress to my life?” Of course, we all have. But now, for the first time ever, comes a comprehensive guide to take the guesswork out of getting stressed. Never before has such a thorough, step-by-step guide to your very own mental breakdown been published, be it online or off. If you can master these easy to follow instructions, you too can be the envy of all your friends and find yourself well on your way to a life you’ve only dreamed of!

1. Treat traffic jams exactly as they are: carefully planned and sinister conspiracies designed to keep you from your destination.

2. Pack your day so full that you are not distracted by superficial things like the sunset, the smell of roses, or the toddler smiling at you from across the grocery aisle.

3. Avoid the time wasting activity known as sleep. For best results, try to keep it under four or five hours per night.

4. Take everything seriously because, obviously, it is.

5. Don’t fall into the trap of expecting big, amazing, wonderful things to happen. They probably won’t and you’ll just end up disappointed anyway. And while you’re at it, pat yourself on the back for outgrowing the silly practice of believing in things like Santa Claus, the Tooth Fairy, and God.

6. Make sure you eat most meals either in the car, near the microwave, or from your recliner. If someone invites you to join them for a dinner that is likely to last more than fifteen minutes, respectfully decline.

7. Don’t bother asking questions. You probably know all the answers anyway. If you don’t, just act like you do. And remember, “Because we’ve always done it this way” is a perfectly good answer to a almost every question.

8. You can take some time for yourself, but only if you’ve caught up on all of your work, your e-mail inbox is completely empty, your bills are paid, and your junk mail has all been alphabetically sorted. And the grass has been cut.

9. If someone drags you on some sort of “vacation,” be sure to bring your beeper. Also, figure out the total time you’ll be on said “vacation” and plan things to do and see that will accommodate roughly double or triple that time.

10. Spend most of your waking hours — remember, you should be shooting for about 20 of those a per day — doing things that completely drain you. You know, the stuff you’d never do in a million years if they didn’t pay you such a good salary.

11. If all else fails and you forget the other guidelines, a handy shortcut is to observe a child and do the exact opposite.

As you can see, a complete and utter mental breakdown does not require any extraordinary skills. By following these simple steps, literally anyone can have one. However, a failure to comply with the majority of the steps listed here may result in a life that is less-stressed and more fun and fulfilling. Good luck!

Jason Kotecki is an artist, author, and professional speaker. Jason and his wife Kim (a former kindergarten teacher) make it their mission in life to fight Adultitis and help people use strategies from childhood to create lives with less stress and more fun. Learn more at

So, now that we know how to have a mental breakdown, let's talk about ways you battle your stress.

Obviously, running a business while running a life — can be tough some days. So, how do you keep stress and overwhelm at bay? 🙂

Some of my favorites ways to battle stress are…

  • Heading to the beach.
  • Going to the park and swinging.
  • Bike Rides.
  • Grabbing my puppies and jumping into bed for a nap/snuggle.
  • Reading a good book.
  • Watching a movie.
  • Getting a hug from someone I love.
  • Going to the Humane Society to hang out in the kitten room. (“Socializing” the kittens is apparently in high demand. It's hard to stay stressed when you're covered with kittens.)
  • Music. Loud.

I'd love to hear your favorite stress-reduction methods.

Hope you enjoyed this article!


I appreciate shares and I adore comments! Please share your thoughts.

  • Online Printer

    LOL you know what, I’m actually quite guilty with like half of these things! But I’m not stressed out, no really, I really enjoy what I do. I work hard and I feel I have accomplished something. But it is stressful.

  • Mike Paetzold

    Love the article and it is so true all the things we do to make ourselves more stressed.

    Two hours with the grand daughter can turn all that around for me.

    • Nicole

      Oh, yeah. Great one. 🙂 And, what a good grandpa to say so!

      I agree. To me, my daughter’s laugh is enough to dissipate all stress in the area.

  • Sherry

    I’m heading to the animal shelter to play with kittens…and then a good swing with my little boy. Thanks for the smiles Nicole 🙂

  • Peggy Baron

    Thanks for the chuckle, Nicole.

    I’m with Lisa Marie, a walk in the woods always relaxes me.

    I also rummage through my head and find the experiences I’ve had that make me laugh, no matter how long ago they happened. Laughing is very relaxing.


    • Nicole

      Isn’t the power of the mind amazing? I do that, too.

      Usually looking at old photo albums brings me back to those days and makes me really appreciate where I am now, and the journey that I’ve taken to get here. 🙂

  • Lisa Marie Mary

    Great article – love it!! haha! A lot of times when I’m near the boiling point, sitting down to watch a movie or a TV show I’m behind on will help a lot. It completely takes me mentally ‘out of my world’ – then when I come back to it, I can see things with a better perspective. Another thing that will ALWAYS be a stress buster for me is to head out into the woods – whether it be the Nat’l Forest or the patches of woods around my house. Thanks for sharing this funny article with us, Nicole!

    • Nicole

      I’m a big fan of the woods, too, Lisa. I especially like to wander through State and National Parks. 🙂

      Excellent tip!

      • Lisa Marie Mary

        The woods are just the bomb, aren’t they? I can see the Talladega Nat’l Forest from my front yard – and it doesn’t take us but a few minutes to get there! It’s so nice!

  • Laura

    I enjoyed Jason’s article and your comments. I only wish it had been published sooner; my mental breakdown could have been so much more complete, not to mention more fun! 🙂

    I love the kitten room idea. Except I would probably end up taking a couple home, and we already have two diva cats living here.

    • Nicole

      Too funny. I’ve brought friends with me to volunteer and they always end up adding to their family. 🙂

      So far I’ve managed to escape kitten-less. So far… lol!

  • Steven Ames

    Thanks Nicole,
    OMG! I finally got a perfect score on something!
    Relevant food for thought for some of us webpreneurs.
    I live in Colorado, so fly-fishing in the mountains is one of my favorite de-stressors, but I just realized I haven’t been in over a year. I’m heading right out today to buy a new fishing license!
    FYI, I posted a similar post on my new blog yesterday about dealing with entrepreneurial burnout. Check it out if you’d like.

    • Nicole

      “I’m heading right out today to buy a new fishing license!”

      That, Steven, made my day. 😀

      It reminds me of a story I heard awhile back. (Someone help me with attribution. I’m blanking…)

      A business Coach asked his client “What’s your goal?”

      Client said “To make a million dollars”.

      Coach asked “What will you do when you make a million dollars?”

      The Client said “I’d go fishing.”

      Coach said “You don’t need a million dollars to do that. Go fishing today!”

      I love that reminder that this is NOT a dress rehearsal.

      Thanks for stopping by!

  • Stephanie

    Nicole, you kill me! I laughed so hard I think I busted something. This was a fantastic post, and exactly what I needed today.

    Stress buster? Baking with my girls. There’s nothing like getting flour everywhere, or pounding the dickens out of bread dough to get rid of that stress. The best stress reliever in the deal, however, is when we end up having a flour fight.

    Okay, I know…horrible mess to clean up, but the laughter is absolutely fantastic!

  • Andre Arnett

    I also enjoyed the article. I agree we all have a lot of stress to deal with. I like to try and play a little golf, I say try because that can also get your stress level up. Music is also a stress relaxer and turning up the volume only helps out more.

    • Nicole

      OH. So, you’re one of THOSE golfers, eh? lol! I don’t find it very relaxing, myself. I find shooting things (targets) much more relaxing than golfing. Which reminds me… another good tension-reliever. 🙂

  • Amy E. Willard

    What a great article you shared, Nicole! I laughed so much as I read it that I instantly felt better and more at ease…thank you.

    I identified with a lot of the items that you had on your list for stress reduction, especially being outdoors and reading a book. I do have an additional one to share, which might sound a bit unusual. Often when I feel like life is spinning out of control and it’s all too much, I can count on doing a load of easy laundry (like towels) to help me shift back into a calmer state. I think it’s because there’s a clear beginning and end, and I get to experience quick results and a sense of accomplishment. With motherhood and entrepreneurship, I don’t often find that this is the case;-).

    Thanks again, Nicole, for brightening my day with a little laughter and a lot of perspective.

    • Nicole

      I completely understand. I’ll take any sense of accomplishment that I can get.

      Sometimes we have to be our own biggest cheerleader in order to stay “mostly sane” — even if it’s just cheering ourselves over getting a load of towels washed and fluffy. 🙂

      Thanks so much for commenting!

  • Karen Braschuk

    Perfect! I will share this with my team and also make it my new non-mantra!

    Excellent article, Nicole. Thank you for sharing and thank you to Jason Kotecki for writing this.



  • Trish Lindemood

    Nicole – I just love this post. I’ve been looking for a way to simplify my own meltdown process.

    It normally takes me a good 20 – 30 steps to really lose it – and sometimes, that can take weeks to achieve.

    Looking forward to putting these steps into practice, right away.

    Thanks for sharing! 🙂

  • Raye

    Delightful post Nicole! Made me laugh. I de-stress by taking a bubble bath and lighting candles and eating some very expensive (or not so expensive) chocolate (ice cream, or cake, I especially love dark chocolate. Yum!

  • The Mad Webmaster

    Hey Nicole,

    Have to tell you that a great stress buster for me is comedy.

    I’ll pop in a 3 stooges dvd, Marx Brothers movie, or any good comedy movie and spend an hour in a “belly bustin” laughing spree. I’m talking rolling on the floor laughing with soda spewing out of my nose kind of laughter. I’m talking….

    Well you know what I mean.

    All the best,
    Mad Guy

  • Lalitha Brahma

    Great article and I love it!
    “I’d love to hear your favorite stress-reduction methods.”
    Here it is!
    Taking a short afternoon siesta.
    Deep breathing and EFT (Emotional Freedom Technique)
    Just writing down everything that I am grateful for -in that moment.
    Writing down-All the things/feelings I want to LET GO and all the things/feelings I want to ALLOW In.

  • The Mom

    “covered in kittens” ????? HA!!! I’m laughing my butt off right now! Not “petting” kittens… no no… “covered” in kittens! Thanks Nicole for the visual! You make me laugh!

    I really enjoyed Jason’s article because it just makes the obvious so ridiculous, eh? I mean we know how to handle stressful situations, right? Why is it so difficult to see the silly stressful things we do every day of our life as they are – stupid.

    Thanks for the great post and the belly laughs!

  • Matthew Scott

    Hi Nicole,
    Brilliant list you’ve got. I also enjoy rollerblading at skate parks.
    There’s nothing quite like a battle to overcome gravity that focusses the mind on what’s really important. ;-p

    And thanks to everyone else for your great tips too.

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