Ten Excuses to Give Friends When You're Too Overwhelmed to Go Out


If you’re someone living with depression/anxiety you know how challenging it can be to handle basic self-care tasks while you’re feeling blue. And what’s worse is you’re expected to fulfill all the obligations you made when you had the audacity to feel good two weeks ago.

You’ll never have time time to do all of the things, and that’s ok. Some days even getting out of bed can feel overwhelming. Give yourself time and space to get right, and all of your plans and obligations will still be there waiting for you when you’re ready to tackle them.

Below are ten excuses to give your friends when you’re honestly just too overwhelmed to go out.


1. Tell them your emotional gas tank is empty.

Introverts will know this well: One only has enough chutzpah, enough mana, enough zazz for so much action in one day. Once your emotional gas tank is empty you have to park your figurative Honda in a metaphorical garage for the night.

2. Compromise and rain check!

“Shoot, I can’t make it to your improv show tonight, but I can make it to your sister’s slam poetry showcase next week, I promise.” If done correctly you can keep pushing things down the line until our democracy crumbles into a waterworld dystopian Hellscape. (Which is still easier to sit through than an improv show amiright?)

3. You literally JUST put in a load of laundry.

“Oh, I’m such a potato! I just put all my clothes in the washer, and now all my denim is wet! Nobody wants a wet denim daddy!!!”


4. You need to sleep, or better yet, you ARE asleep.

Just don’t get caught playing on social media. Don’t Like. Don’t comment. And

DEFINITELY don’t look at peoples’ stories; This will only blow your cover and inspire FOMO.

5. Tell them you have to babysit

Sorry I forgot I agreed to babysit (my own mental illness).


6. Jedi mind-trick them into flaking on you.

It IS getting late, you DON'T want to deal with traffic.

7. Tell them your old friend Franklin is visiting from Cincinnati.

Franklin is my cat. Cincinnati is the name of his cat condo.

8. Food Poisoning.

Can’t very well go to that acro-yoga class with diarrhea now can you?


9. Tell them you just finished watching Making A Murderer, and you’re thiiiiis close to cracking the case.

I’m analyzing blood splatter, can I call you back?

10. Be Honest (Eww)

In case of emergency you can always tell the truth. It can feel icky be vulnerable to people, but your friends should love and support you enough not to take it personally when you just need to take some time for yourself.

Jay Norris is an Atlanta based writer and performer. He spends most nights slaying the dragon of depression with the flaming sword of comedy.