Burnout

<<exhausted, used up>>

Burnout is being stressed to the point of being ineffective with the output of energy exceeding the input and can lead to depression. It comes from imbalance, too many involvements, over-extending for too long or neglecting one or more areas of the total person – physical, intellect, emotional, spiritual or social. We should be attending to and growing in each area as Jesus did (Lk 2:52). We should be on fire for God, living effectively but without ongoing exhaustion, while attending to the other responsibilities in life too.

Some people set excessively high levels of productivity for themselves yet performance drops as physical fatigue sets in and mental resilience is weakened. A lack of self-acceptance can compel people to become workaholics. It is important to listen to and respond appropriately to the inner warning signals.  Emotions should not dictate our response, as they are indicators, however it is possible to ignore them to our detriment. Did God ask us to do all we are endeavouring to do? He doesn’t expect us to meet every need. We need a sound evaluation of our worth and His specific call on our life. He has more servants than just me! We may be so focused and even introverted that we fail to see, connect with and receive support from those who we have so much in common with (1 Kgs 19:18). While we should be stretched, we should not be in a continual state of being unable to run fast enough. Do I spend adequate time with the Master, gaining insight and hearing Him speak to me (Lk 10:42)?   

To overcome burnout remove or reduce whatever is causing you excess stress by saying ‘no’, taking a break, and taking charge of your own life by regaining a right perspective. Know your limits and pressure areas and endeavour to keep inside the creative challenge they present rather than

  Unless the input exceeds the output, the                             upkeep will be your downfall

pushing out the boundaries. We need wisdom to deal with situations as they crop up, not postponing undesirable tasks so they create a bottleneck or unsurmountable mountain. Evaluate and prioritise what is essential to be done and temporally forget the other things.

It is not the spirit that burns out, rather the flesh losing it’s purpose, passion, will and way. Those continually exhausted are emotionally fragile, susceptible to health issues, efficiency drops off, ‘God time’ is seriously threatened and poor decisions made, as true perspective is lost. Burnout calls for drastic measures, pulling back from commitments and delegating some responsibilities if possible.

To guard against burnout: re-evaluate your goals and priorities, eat nutritious food, have adequate sleep, set boundaries, have a relaxing not-work-related activity, spend time with the Lord and be rejuvenated in every part of your being (Isa 40:31). Jesus came to bring us life in all its fullness (Jn 10:10). This is not only salvation from our sin but also wholeness in each part of our being. Our confidence and hope is in Him and His power not in our own ability (Zech 4:6).

See also: action/activity, balance, being and doing, busy, boundaries, burdens, drive/driven, mental health, depression, pressure, priority, responsible/responsibility, rest, stress, wholeness, work.

 

 


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