Burnout. Ever been there? I have, this past season in fact.
None of us are immune to experiencing burnout. It can catch us off guard, knock us off our feet and steal our joy. It’s important to deal with it when it comes. Even more so, it’d be better if we can learn to avoid it altogether, don’t you think?
I’m grateful that after nearly a year, I am finding a melody rising in my heart again (there used to always be a song on my heart before burnout temporarily snuffed it out). This perhaps is a sign that this season of burnout is subsiding.
So, as one who has been facing burnout myself, I want to share some signs of burnout and helpful ideas on recovering from it. Without further ado:
Warnings You May Be Near (or Already Experiencing) Burnout
- Your joy, passion and/or excitement is gone.
- Ministry, work, homemaking and anything else has become difficult the majority of the time.
- You may not even want to pursue these things anymore (you want to simply not go, to give up, to resign, to quit, do something else…)
- You may not even want to spend time with God!
- You can’t seem to get enough rest or time to recharge despite taking a vacation, or you can never take a day off or have a vacation in the first place.
Practical Things That Might Help You Avoid Burnout
- Time with God: Spend time with God just for your own personal relationship with Him, not to receive something for others or with an agenda to accomplish a certain amount of time, study, etc. (This especially goes for those in ministry. You might even want to attend a weekly service at a church where you aren’t serving so you can be fed also without the pressures of a congregation pulling on you.)
- First things first: Keep God first, followed by immediate family, and only then ministry, work, etc. Set boundaries for yourself!
- Weekly Sabbath: Have a regular day of rest (sabbath) once every week, and more often if needed depending on your circumstances. (If it can’t be Sunday, don’t stress; just find one day you can have completely off. I know that can be almost impossible–my own rest day used to be two half days, ugh!)
- Daily breaks: Try to set aside a short time daily in which you can take a break from work, chores and so forth. You might even take a 10-20 minute nap!
- Don’t forget your physical body: Get adequate sleep at night and proper nutrition every day.
- You need people: You might need to regularly see a counselor, spend time with a mentor, or at least have beneficial fellowship with a truly encouraging friend who also isn’t afraid to speak truth into your life.
- “Joy” Hobbies: Doing something that has no pressure or specific success measurement connected to it, but is something that is simply fun or brings you joy. (Suggestions: reading a novel, photography, hiking, fishing, journaling.)
What About You?
Is there a time you can share about when you experienced burnout? What helped and what didn’t? I’d love to know your suggestions too, so feel free to comment below.
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