Thursday, April 30, 2015

Feeling Burned Out? Take Heart - There is Hope

And whatever you do, do it heartily, as to the Lord, and not to men.  –Colossians 3:23

A character in one of my favorite sitcoms, Seinfeld, once remarked that his mind was, “As barren as the surface of the moon.”  He was speaking of the burnout and exhaustion he was going through and as part of the genius of the show, this serious sounding description of his condition was humorous.  In real life, of course, there is nothing comical about burnout.  The condition known as burnout affects people from all walks of life.  Burnout is the condition of being so tired, exhausted, and overworked that all energy for going forward and thriving in one’s position is gone.  I have known many pastors affected by this and I have experienced it myself. 

However, the condition is in no way limited to the pastorate.  Anyone can suffer from burnout.  While depression affects our entire being, burnout is typically centered on one area such as our career or current job.  You may be reading this right now and thinking, “Yes, that’s me; I so dislike my job that it’s all I can do to make myself get up and go to work each day.”  When suffering from burnout, we have no problem getting up on our day off to take a trip somewhere or perhaps enjoy work around the house.  But when Monday comes, we’re feeling pretty low.  Our employment is no longer bringing us any fulfillment.

Take heart, because if your career has you burnt out, revitalization is possible.  Consider again that attitude makes all the difference.  The following suggestions may prove useful.

Seek to view your work as a calling rather than a job.  God has strategically placed you where you are for a divine purpose.  Whether you are a janitor or an executive, give your all to your work, because you are in the position of influencing peoples’ live around you for the better.  Your employment is your mission field.

God is using your work for providing basic necessities.  Consider that without that dull job you go to each morning, you and your family would be homeless, which is a condition affecting countless people right now.  Take on a new attitude of thanksgiving for all your work has allowed you to possess, such as a place to live and provision for your family.

Unclutter your life.  Getting rid of clutter from our homes and workplaces is one of the most energizing practices we can pursue.  While you’re at it, getting rid of car clutter makes us feel great as well.  Is your desk at work buried in junk mail and other stuff?  Resolve today to have the most organized desk in the office.  You will be amazed at the result.

Seek to encourage those around you.  What is your attitude at work?  Are you sullen and critical?  Do you complain about the boss and fellow employees?  Do you gossip with coworkers about others?  These attitudes fuel burnout.  Resolve to cease from speaking ill of others.  Make a commitment to say only kind words about your manager and fellow employees.  Rather than cut others down, seek to build up people around you with gracious, kind, and encouraging words.  Practice this every day and burnout begins to dissolve.

Get some exercise.  I know I keep harping on this, but it’s just that important.  Moderate exercise or daily workouts do wonders for our overall outlook.  Give it a try.

Recommit your life to God.  Resolve to daily pray and meditate on God’s Word.  What a wonderful difference this practice makes. 

I trust this is helpful.  Should you desire to comment on today’s post, please feel free to do so.  I would love to hear from you and pray for you today.

God bless you, my friends.

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