I am continuing the topic of burnout. We discovered the signs and symptoms of spiritual, mental and physical burnout. Now I want to focus on how to treat it. But before I get into that there is a little house cleaning I need to do first.
When I give this talk to different groups this is the point when people check out emotionally. Despite going through the checklist in their head and checking off all the symptoms they display of burnout, when it comes to self care people lose interest. For too long we have been led to believe that it is wrong to take care of yourself. We are told that it’s selfish to love yourself. This is a lie straight from the pit of hell. God never intended for us to work ourselves to the brink of exhaustion. We allow situations and circumstances to drive us instead of allowing Holy Spirit to guide us. For example, I went for years without buying clothes for myself and even went through a winter without a coat because I was convinced that I had to spend every penny I had on my children and my husband. I believed that their needs were more important than mine. I was just a stay at home mom and I did not contribute financially therefore I didn’t deserve to have clothes. It wasn’t until someone made fun of me for having holes in my clothes that my husband demanded I buy new clothes. My husband usually had to “make me” leave the house and do something fun and relaxing for myself. I love having a wonderful husband who cares about my well being and he wants to do nice things for me, but my attitude towards myself was deplorable. When you don’t take care of yourself you develop an attitude of I don’t deserve to be cared for. This attitude and thought process is breeding grounds for burnout. We all have needs and we need to fulfill those needs in order to be balanced. I took this attitude towards myself to the workplace. When I became a nurse I put my all into taking care of patients. I denied my needs and pushed myself so I could continue to care for my patients.
This type of attitude is unhealthy. Eventually I had a hard time living up to this expectation. Other people began to treat me the way I treated myself and that became an issue. I lost sight of who I was and what God had planned for me. This happens to so many of us. Recently I heard of a pastor of a mega church in Nashville stepping down from pastoring due to burnout. He announced his resignation to his church and he said something that stuck with me. He said “I gave my entire life to this ministry”. God has never required us to give our entire lives to ministry, family, work, hobbies, spouses, but He does require us to give our lives to Him. When you give your all to God, He gives back in multiples.
Jesus took time away from the crowd. Throughout the Gospels you will find times when Jesus separated himself to be alone for prayer. If Jesus needed a get away, how much more do we need one. It is so important to love and care for yourself and step away from the pressures of life. Stop denying your emptiness and get full again. It is ok to do something nice for yourself. I have heard so many people say, “I wish someone will care for me the way I care for others”. The truth is there is no one better equipped to take care of you than you. You know exactly what you need. If you treat yourself the way you want others to treat you, then the others will learn how to treat you. Get some time away with God. He can restore you and build you up.
I had to learn that I am worth saving and I deserve to receive love, care and attention. No one else can love me the way I love me except God. I am determined to never allow myself to get to a place of burnout again. I can only achieve this by vowing to save myself. I make the things that are important to me a priority and if it’s not important to you than tough because I’m taking care of me first. Someone is depending on you being in the best shape possible. When I take care of myself then that’s the first step in being able to do my greatest work. You are important and worth it. Say that to yourself everyday in the mirror. Own it and do it.
I want to pray with you. Father God thank you for loving us. Fill us fresh father with your anointing. Show us ourselves in you and give us a fresh outlook. Revive us, renew, refresh, energize us. Heal those broken places and fill the emptiness with your love and purpose. Bring peace and calm to our minds so we can hear you clearly. Allow us to give from the overflow and learn that what is in the cup is for us. Show us how to take care of ourselves and to receive the healing and the practical things we can do to save ourselves from burnout. I come against the spirit of frustration and burnout in Jesus name and I loose fulfillment, rest and purpose in Jesus name. Amen!
Please feel free to read this over and over again until it sinks in that you are capable and worthy of saving yourself. I will talk to you real soon about practical ways to prevent and treat burnout.