Friday morning I woke up with a lot to do and a lot more on my mind. I was beyond exhausted and I tried to will myself forward; however, I just couldn’t move. After a long week of work and little sleep it was obvious, I just needed to STOP. I was angry at myself because I had hit a moment of burnout, something I thought I could avoid. I write about it, I work with others on avoiding it; however, it had caught up and gotten me.
In ministry and in life you are going to hit moments when you are just completely wiped. While it’s easy to get disappointed, frustrated and even angry, it’s important to know that it’s normal. You and I are human and we are going to get worn out, especially when life picks up. As leaders of the next generation, our families and the church we need to know:
- WHEN TO STOP
- WHEN TO REST
- WHEN TO RETREAT
When you hit these moments of exhaustion it’s important to STOP and:
- Refocus On Your Priorities: When what is important becomes muddled it’s easy to get worn out. Just think about the times you’ve been lost. If you don’t stop to get direction and refocus on your destination you’ve wasted time and energy. To prioritize what’s important, stop and revisit the vision you have for your life and your ministry.
- Do What You Love: Sometimes we get caught up in so many obligations and responsibilities that we forget to enjoy life. The key is to engage in those things that fuel you. Not all fun things will fuel you; therefore, be careful that you do not overplan and overcommit. Give yourself the time and energy to enjoy the process.
- Work On Your Limitations: Make a list of where you feel stretched too far. Name the tasks that you can delegate and get rid of them. Figure out what needs to be done and give them priority. Create a schedule with margin and make it a goal to follow it. Share it with others who will hold you accountable and build up those safeguards.
- Rest In Your Faith: It’s easy to preach quiet time with God; however, to live it out yourself can be a challenge. Find something you can do that requires you to listen. Maybe it’s a run or walk without headphones. You could find a quiet place to journal. Resting in faith sounds simple; however, it’s easy to take it for granted. Stop and listen to God.
Burnout is not fun, it’s messy and can derail you from leading, creating and producing. If you do hit those moments of burnout do not despair, just STOP and take a moment to breathe, rest and reflect. While life is constantly moving it’s important to maintain a pace that will help you move and grow.
How do you rebound from moments of exhaustion and burnout?
Chris Wesley (@chrisrwesley)