Ministry is hard work. Knowing that my work is related to people hearing the Gospel, I feel the need to work longer hours and add more items on my to do list than I can actually get done. Been there? It’s a dangerous place. You do more and work harder and faster, which warrants praise, but it’s not sustainable, nor is it healthy.
What burnout looks like –
-Exhaustion, both physical and emotional.
-Rising stress levels.
-Disinterest in your work, but also in anything outside of work.
-Allowing your physical health to take a back seat to work
God made us to desperately need rest and Sabbath.
Here are some things I do when I feel like burn out may be approaching. Know that it won’t be an immediate correction… It will take some lifestyle change.
- Rest. REALLY rest. Take a couple of days and don’t work on any work. Don’t think about work. Don’t even think about thinking about work. This will take discipline, but it’s worth it.
- Take a full day to spend time in the Word. Don’t allow this to be preparation for a study you will lead. Just take some time to be filled by the Lord.
- Seek out friends who encourage you. Do something you both enjoy together.
- Get healthy. Watch what you eat, get some exercise, and get enough sleep.
- Use a post it for your day’s to-do list. I’ve come to find I can’t fit a whole lot on that post-it, so it makes me take a look at my day and consider what I can actually get done, rather than what I could get done if I worked in a perfect world where time stood still.
Have you ever felt burned out? What did you do to remedy it?