February 29, 2012

Preventing Burnout

Burnout. 

It is a term that all will face during some course of their daily lives. We are taught to use our gifts and tackle our jobs with zeal for God and to demonstrate our love for Him and others.

As women, managing our households, possibly holding jobs, raising children and working in our respective ministries, the possibility of feeling overwhelmed can easily take over. We then reach the point where our zeal begins to fizzle, our love becomes somewhat burdensome and finally… something’s got to give.

Have you felt this way? Are you feeling alone in your responsibilities? Feeling lackluster in your desires to perform your normal tasks?

16 The Lord said to Moses, “Gather to me seventy men of the elders of Israel, whom you know are elders of the people and officials over them, and bring them to the tent of meeting; let them take their position there with you. 17 Then I will come down and speak with you there, and I will take part of the spirit that is on you, and will put it on them, and they will bear some of the burden of the people with you, so that you do not bear it all by yourself. Numbers 11:16-17

God did not intend for you to do everything on your own. In fact, He commanded Moses to gather help knowing the job was too big for one person to handle exclusively. 

In a country that has us drifting apart from one another—not many know their neighbors anymore and there are pressures and expectations from all sides to be self-reliant one can see how so many people are finding periods of burnout in their everyday lives. 

God did not intend for you to do everything on your own.

Some of the ways to keep your faith up and your zeal from fizzling:
  • Set a schedule and take back your weekend. Remember the “rest on Sunday”? If you work on the weekends make it a different day.
  • Implement a routine that allows personal family time. Watching TV does not count as quality family time because instead of being engaged with one another all are engaged with the television.
  • Make time for prayer. God is my #1 burnout buster. He is strong when I am weak.
  • Ask for help. This is probably the greatest barrier on avoiding burnout. It is very difficult to ask for help when people see success from others in tackling school, work and family because one can perceive themselves as failing, avoiding to turn to someone else. I mean, we’re supposed to “have it all together, right?”
  • Delegate. This is something I, personally, have a great deal of trouble with. As God told Moses—you need people to help in order to keep your mind on Him.
Believe it or not, this is completely applicable to our daily lives. Some of the best schedules, extra-curricular activities, and family times are built on the best of intentions only to fail because that stubborn pride got in the way. Instead of asking for help in the areas that became overwhelming we chose to try that Superwoman cape on. The laundry became a mountain, grocery shopping gave way to trying to squeeze out that last-minute obligation for work, and the family began a season of bitterness and resent.  Burdens can transition into great joy when we choose to be intentional in creating our village of support. In the end you celebrate as a team of many. Pray and God will always send the workers.

Burnout does not have to be a constant part of your life—now, go forth and re-instate your zeal!

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