Anxiety, Burnout, Depression: Here’s How I Escaped the Cycle

So many people suffer from anxiety and worry, and to avoid this feeling they burden themselves with so many tasks that they eventually burn out and/or become depressed. It’s important to recognize this pattern and replace it with a more helpful, sustainable approach.

Let’s look at the three phases:

Worry Leads to Fear

The worry doesn’t seem to come from anywhere, but can stem from old trauma, genetics, or just an old habit. Maybe you’re feeling insecure, not good enough or nervous, afraid you won’t get anywhere, worried about money or the future. Maybe it’s more in your body and you feel tense or stressed.

Keeping Busy
To escape the feeling, one runs from here to there, inventing umpteen chores that cannot be postponed, or dividing every minute of the day into tasks. You try to use willpower, control yourself, work faster and be more perfect.

Deep down I hoped that if I can do anything or just be busy, I won’t be scared. I took on three jobs plus freelance, I started four blogs, I traveled unnecessarily to keep myself on the move.

Dealing with the Burnout

I was feeling tired, overwhelmed, depressed, had trouble motivating yourself, yet force myslef out of bed and into work until I reached thebreaking point, have a breakdown, became ill and clinically depressed. Only then does it become time off from work, I slept 10–14 hours a day and watched Netflix the rest of the day.

When we’re rested, we think: I’m not a failure — I have to try harder next time, have a better plan. The cycle begins again.

How I Broke the Cycle — and You Can, Too

♦ If you feel unwell, don’t immediately run away from it by trying to distract yourself. Feel into yourself, ask yourself where it comes from and acknowledge it. Worries and fears will eventually catch up with us in the long run; it is better to deal with them, to question them and to dissolve them little by little.

What am I worried about? Am I afraid for my future? Do I have financial worries or fear of staying alone? If you identify your problems, you can also approach a solution in a more targeted manner.

♦ Instead of burdening yourself with umpteen different activities, you can consciously choose those tasks that deal with the main problem.

♦ Learn to say “no” and focus on your self-care. For some, that means setting aside times of the day for relaxation. Meditation, breathing exercises, gratitude exercises, yoga, sports, you name it.

♦ Make sure you treat yourself with compassion and kindness, especially when things aren’t going the way you want them to. Punish yourself or practice self-compassion.

I know you sometimes hear that fear can also be a motivator. This may work in the short term, but often the decisions you make out of fear are not the most satisfying in the long run and will sap motivation and energy.

So remember to take time for your rest and self-care. Life cannot just be a permanent optimization of our habits and performance. Being human means more than doing, working and functioning.

Choose to act consciously instead of just reacting and running around. Take care of yourself, have understanding and compassion. Stop every now and then, realize how special you are and that you deserve to be made to feel and be treated well.




IT copywriter and tech content marketer. On Medium, I write about technology, self-improvement, and marketing. I am available for freelance projects.

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Julie Gabriel

Julie Gabriel

IT copywriter and tech content marketer. On Medium, I write about technology, self-improvement, and marketing. I am available for freelance projects.

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