Updated: May 23
Fear is that thing that gets in the way of starting anything. You know something is good for you, and it’s the best decision, but you have this little voice in the back of your mind telling you not to do it, or what if something goes wrong….so you don't do anything. You resort to feeling stuck and miserable, and anxious, then depression sets in just thinking about how awful you feel.
Fear can appear so real in the mind and feel like this giant hurdle that seems impossible to overcome, and just thinking about it makes you anxious then panic. You rather not think about it at all, kinda like out of sight and out of mind type of feeling, you do everything to avoid it, until you can't escape it anymore, and something needs to be done, or else..well, the rest is not good…
You know someone or maybe it’s you that literally just feel stuck doing the same thing, living the same life, having the same experiences and life is just super boring, and you are sick of it, afraid to do anything else but only feeling stuck, miserable, with no energy or motivation, or better yet, you don’t know what to do.
Self-care is the last thing on your mind since your mind is full of thoughts of fear and worry of letting yourself down which makes you feel even more panicky and anxious and now you can’t sleep. Even when you try doing self-care, you can barely get your mind and body to relax, and the only thing left for you to do now is aftercare, being forced to take a break or else, well, the stress takes over and the outcome is not fun and it feels taking two steps forward and two steps back all at the same time.
So instead of doing aftercare from the stress of life, the fear of what will happen, or just feeling overwhelmed and not knowing what to do,
Here are 5 common signs you can watch out for to know when you are driven by fear
Which means you aren't really doing self-care to prevent the burnout, but rather, you are doing aftercare and that is not sustainable.
Self care is a proactive tool used to prevent burnout, while aftercare is ignoring all the signs your body and mind are giving you, only to be forced to do something when the stress becomes unbearable or unmanageable.
1. You are stresslaxing-you no longer enjoy the things you used to enjoy, like working out, meditating, writing in your journal, hanging out with friends or family, driving for relaxation, reading for fun or just spending time with yourself. You feel stressed out when you try doing them.
2. You are overstimulated and overwhelmed-you find yourself unable to control your mind and body, doing things without thinking or knowing why you are doing them. Example would be driving somewhere only to forget how you got there, or doom scrolling on social media just for the heck of it, but you can't stop, or having notifications popping everywhere that you feel a sense of urgency to get to.
3. You feel depleted-OMG, this is major. You don't feel like doing things because you are so tired and have low energy or no energy at all and you really don't even want to get out of bed.
4. You have trouble sleeping-you go to bed at night and just lay there, hoping for sleep, but it never comes, or you are awake again after falling asleep for like 2 hrs, or you get to sleep and it feels like you are still awake. It feels like torture. This is especially frustrating when you need sleep to feel well rested so you can do the things you set out to do the next day. If you aren't sleeping well, your mind and body are not function properly..
5. You have intrusive thoughts- you can’t shut your mind off from worrying so much about the future, and have anxious thoughts driven by fear of what will happen or not happen, so much so you are having an out of body experience and can’t feel your own body.
What you can do to avoid these signs is to find time often, preferably weekly to practice self-care.
That is paying attention to what you are feeding your mind; is it helping you grow or causing you more stress?
Assess what you are thinking about the most like what is causing you frustration or making you afraid right now and why are you afraid?
What are your dominant thoughts or most persistent thoughts? Is it of fear or is it of growth?
How are you perceiving that thought(s), and frustration that is coming up for you?
Lastly, what are you doing about it to move away from that stressful feeling?
Remember only two things are happening for you..you are either growing or feeling stuck, and even if you aren't under lots of pressure or stress, you have to move towards growth, if not, you are regressing..
What self-care practices do you have in place that are consistently helping you avoid burnout or stress?