We have discussed the three different aspects of burnout: spiritual, mental, and physical. We also talked about the importance of self care and now I want to talk about how to combat burnout. It may not look like it right now but you can recover from burnout and prevent it from happening again.
The first thing to do is admit that you are suffering with burnout. It’s time to be honest with yourself and realize it’s time to take back control of your life. You don’t have to keep going from chaos to chaos and from crisis to crisis. It’s time to stop the vicious cycle and here are some tips and practical things you can do right now to SYS: Save Your Self.
- Wake up early. Make a plan to began getting up earlier in the morning. I use to get out of bed in just enough time to get ready for work. I set myself up for chaos by doing this. I started waking up 15 minutes early everyday for a week. The next week I got up 15 minutes earlier. I kept doing this until I now get up at 5:30 am every morning. Now I have time for prayer, bible study, exercise and breakfast all before getting ready for work
- Organize your day. Set goals for what you need to accomplish for the day. I have started making goals and lists for what I want to accomplish for the week on Sunday night. Each night look back at your weekly goals and plan your daily goals according to what you want to complete for the week. Sometimes goals change and you have to be flexible and account for distractions. Having a clear vision of what you want to accomplish helps to deal with those interruptions and problems quickly so you can get back on track.
- Learn the art of saying NO. Not everyone’s emergency is your emergency. You don’t have to be everything for everyone. Sometimes the most empowering thing you can do for someone is tell them no and make them problem solve for themselves. We all have people in our lives that want to drain all of our energy and pull us into their wormhole of complaints and issues. Learn how to make those people problem solve for themselves. When they come to you with a problem or task for you to do, ask them what is their plan for solving the problem and taking care of it themselves.
- Delegate. You don’t have to do everything yourself. Remember the saying if you want something done right, do it yourself? Well that’s a bunch of LIES! Give tasks away to people around you and give them a deadline to complete it. God has placed people around you who are more than capable of carrying out a plan of action. However you must always inspect what you expect. Give detailed instructions and follow up with members of your team for progress and keep them on task. There is nothing more gratifying than to have a team of people executing a plan perfectly with your guidance and leadership.
- Reconnect with God. Talk to Him. Ask him to remind you of your purpose and mission. I pray throughout the day for wisdom and direction. Spend time in the morning in prayer. Jesus made the way available to us to have relationship with the Father. He can connect you back to your purpose and refresh you. Father God I pray for refreshing and repairing for your people in Jesus Name!
- Be thankful. Having a grateful heart eliminates negative thoughts.
- Eat breakfast, lunch, snacks and dinner. The simplest things can be the easiest to forget. Don’t skip meals and eat clean and healthy, not junk through a fast food restaurant. Fruits, vegetables, healthy fats, and lean meats can fuel your body and give you the energy you need throughout the day. If we were going on a long trip in our car we would get the oil and engine checked, tires checked and fill it up with gas. But when we get up in the morning for a 24 hour journey in our bodies we run on empty until we feel lightheaded or sick and then we eat. We treat our cars better than our bodies. If you skip meals or eat late in the day, then start eating earlier regardless if you’re hungry or not.
- Drink water. Water hydrates us and flushes toxins out of our bodies that can cause increased stress. Water is refreshing
- Sleep. Get at least 7-8 hours of sleep at night. This is the time that your body repairs itself. You need sleep. Sleep also aid in weight loss and it reduces stress. Studies have shown that people who sleep less than 6 hours regularly are at higher risk for developing dementia than people who sleep 7-8 hours routinely.
- Exercise. Exercise like fast walking, running and lifting weights release hormones called endorphins. Endorphins are the “feel good” hormones in the body. Go on a good brisk walk in the morning and evenings to reduce stress.
- Have fun! Do something you enjoy like going to the movies, the museum, go on a hike or get a massage. I like getting my hair and nails done for relaxation. I also like writing as hobby, hence the blog. What do you like to do? What brings you pleasure? As long as it’s not illegal or harmful to others and the environment go for it! Have some fun for goodness sakes.
If you are in crisis and you feel like you can’t take another second, then don’t. Go on vacation, take some time off from work. Just don’t make any decisions about your future when you are in this emotional state. Take sometime away to get yourself together. And if the thought of that is overwhelming to you (I’ve been there before) then seek professional help. I spent time with a life coach and he helped me to gain perspective on what I really wanted out of my life. With the help of a life coach I was able to get back control of my life. You may need a life coach or a counselor but there is help out there for you. Many companies have employee assistance programs that has counseling available. Some of these things cost money but you are worth the investment.
God has so many great things for you. Don’t let burnout take you away from your dreams and aspirations. I know it gets hard and it seems like everyone wants a piece of you and you’re pulled in a million directions. No matter how out of control it gets you still have the power to Save Your Self. If you have questions, comments or just need prayer I am available. Just know that you can and will fight burnout and stay the course.