Then Jesus said, “Come to me, all of you who are weary and carry heavy burdens, and I will give you rest.Matthew 11:28 The Holy Bible, NLT
Hey, long time no see! I know it’s been a while, but I had to take some time and breathe. I’ve still been busy living life and learning lessons that I’m excited to continue sharing with you all again! So Let’s jump right into it…
I’ve never been as busy as I have been in the last two years! My schedule has picked up in ways I didn’t foresee 5 years ago and while grateful, I’m quick to recognize when I’m getting overwhelmed and it’s time to anchor myself in God before I begin to shut down. Here are a few things to remember when you think burnout is on the horizon to avoid shutdown and keep you on the well-balanced path to achieving your goals.
Learn the symptoms
When I’m starting to feel worn out, there are warning signs before I begin to shut down and limit my level of engagement with my commitments. It was only after surpassing my breaking point that I realized how much the quality of my work had been impacted. I’m pretty sure you’ve been there, but how can you stop running on empty to maintain your focus and energy? Learn about yourself and your burnout warning signs. That’s one thing I’ve learned about myself during this time away, it gave me the space to learn more about myself, my reactions, expectations, and delusions. For example, my burnout symptoms are: feeling overwhelmed, forgetting important dates, double booking appointments/commitments, not being well-rested despite having 8 hours of sleep or more, avoiding eating or quick changing or losing appetite, and restlessness. *This is not medical advice, please see your primary care doctor for medical care first and foremost for any and all health concerns.* I wouldn’t know these symptoms if I hadn’t listened to the fogginess in my head and the wilting feeling in my shoulders. The point here is to learn yourself, that way at the first sign of burnout or even a little weariness you can do what’s necessary to bounce back strong.
Learn to relax using small, practical methods
A little goes a long way! Never underestimate the power a quick prayer, a song, or a few laughs can offer, especially if time isn’t a luxury. Most of us tend to pair relaxation with trips to Dubai and Instagram likes or overflowing tables of expensive food and never-ending wine when a quick snack along with your favorite song can give you a short burst of energy to get you through those last few hours at work! Along with this is also knowing what will serve you best at the moment.
Here are a few suggestions from my own life: watch a short clip of my favorite standup comic, listen to instrumental music when you need to focus, timed journaling (set a limit of 5 minutes or less and see how much you can get onto the page), dance in a corner for 30 seconds (yes, I’ve done this at work even in the restroom to destress..it works for me!) and of course reading a passage from the Bible. Do what feels right at the moment as long as it doesn’t pose a risk to the safety of yourself or those around you.
Using your strengths against your weaknesses
What you know about yourself is truly a wealth of knowledge. One thing that tends to wear me down is doing things last minute. I hate rushing to get things done and if I do the quality of that thing will suffer because of my lack of time management. Using this information about myself, being proactive is the best thing for me to do. The sooner I get things done, the better. I’m more relaxed being free to keep things moving to complete other tasks or to spend my time doing what I enjoy.
As Christians, we acknowledge that our days here are “full of trouble” (Job 14:1) and we’re constantly pursued, if not by the enemy, by our worldly desires. With that being said, yes, you deserve a break and even breaks don’t look the same for everyone all the time. For some of us, we need a break from resting and work on productivity, some of us need a break from ourselves and need to adopt new ways of life but whatever you need a break from or break into, I pray you to do it, in Jesus’ name. As always, go forth and you know that you got this!
Here are some scriptures to help you out:
“Fear not, for I am with you; be not dismayed, for I am your God; I will strengthen you, I will help you, I will uphold you with my righteous right hand”. -Isaiah 41:10 ESV
“Fear not, for I am with you; be not dismayed, for I am your God; I will strengthen you, I will help you,
I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.” – Exodus 15:2 ESV
“He gives power to the faint, and to him who has no might he increases strength.” – Isaish 40:29 ESV