Several months ago I spoke to a group of social workers about burnout. The response I received was amazing. We often ignore the signs and symptoms of burnout but suffering prolonged stress can be detrimental to our spiritual, mental and physical health. I will spend the next several blogs discussing burnout and how to SYS: Save YourSelf.
Let’s first look at the what burnout is. Burnout can occur spiritually, mentally and physically. Burnout is defined as physical or mental collapse caused by overwork or prolonged stress. We often identify with physical burnout, ignore mental burnout and have no clue about spiritual burnout. It’s important to recognize all three so we can effectively treat burnout. No matter how stressed or hopeless you feel right now, burnout is treatable and preventable.
Our spirit contains the very essence of who we are. It connects us to our purpose and the reason why we are put here on this earth. The spirit of a man/woman keeps him/her on track for God’s great design for his/her life. If we neglect our spirit it becomes broken and weak. We lose our sense of who we are and our purpose. Spiritual burnout comes from a place of emptiness. When we constantly give of ourselves to others and fail to connect back to God to be filled, then we experience a void. Only God can fill that void. Some symptoms of spiritual burnout are loss of focus, no sense of direction, lack of sense of fulfillment. You began to ask questions like why am I here, what’s the point of going to work everyday, and my personal favorite why did I go to school for this? You go from one crisis to the next and you are in constant chaos. Does any of this sound familiar? We often push through these signs and symptoms because we tell ourselves if we keep pushing maybe it will get better. But you find yourself spiraling out of control. It’s so important to take time out of our busy lives to spend time in God’s presence. He can fix our broken spirit and give us purpose again. There’s nothing like remembering back to the first time you discovered what your “thing” is. Think back to the first time you used you unique abilities, talents and gifts to make a difference in someone else’s life. Reconnecting to God puts us back in line with his purpose for us. If you’re not walking out God’s divine plan for your life, now is the time to discover it and do it. Next we will look at mental burnout. Stay tuned