Busy and Burning Out? Take a Break…
I was BUSY… and BURNING OUT… I needed to take a break. I knew I had to, but I felt a lot of things will fall out of place if I did. But I eventually did.
You see, there are moments when work, blogging, other activities we engage in and life itself feels like a pressure cooker. When this happens, I always know it’s time to take a break from social media or take myself off anything screen related. I disappear from my blog and cut other online activities for a day or two leading to weeks and months and try to focus on what renews me: my family, my friends, exercise, my books, my time with God.
At the start of my blogging life, I thought I had to be part of everything including keeping up with other aspects of my life, so that I wouldn’t be at a loss when it came time to interact onFacebook or Twitter. By reading, I could keep informed.
By googling, I could find out what everyone was talking about.
Following, reading and commenting on other blogs to forge relationship with bloggers. You had to stay in the know, or you’d miss out.
I also had to be there for my family, friends, career/work, books and other things I love to do.
I loved blogging – and I still do, the same for my blogging communities, and I was willing to make sacrifices to stay involved. If that meant I stayed up until 3:00 a.m., then so be it. I knew no other way of finding more time to blog except in the quiet, undisturbed night.
It wasn’t too long before I was dragging through my days in a mental fog, and no matter how much I had read and absorbed the day before, the next day there was more to know, as if I hadn’t done anything online at all.
The truth is, that you can’t keep up with everything that is happening.
The fact is, that it’s impossible to be there for everyone.
You can’t do everything (blog, work/business outside blog, family, personal projects and hobbies etc) all at once without taking a break once in a while to refresh and not burn out.
Well, I tried. I didn’t give myself a break to refresh. So I was burning out. Sick. Depressed. Overwhelmed most of the time by the volume of things to be done. And other struggles. So I had to almost forcefully take time off to take of myself and other screaming needs. During the period, I read an article on burning out by Got Questions and it blessed me really.
Excerpts from the Got Question article:
Burnout is a state of emotional, physical, social, and spiritual exhaustion. It can lead to diminished health, social withdrawal, depression, and a spiritual malaise.
Many times, burnout is the result of an extended period of exertion at a particular task (generally with no obvious payoff or end in sight)
or the result of overwhelming demands or responsibilities, either placed on us by others or by ourselves, that we simply cannot bear.
Burnout is often the result of self-reliance. When we are self-reliant, we take upon ourselves the role of savior rather than trusting God to accomplish His own will. We begin to see every need as our call, rather than asking for God’s wisdom and direction.
Another cause of burnout is a lack of self-care. when we don’t take care of ourselves, we fail to understand how much God values us. We fail to accept His rest and His love for us, instead martyring ourselves on the altar of pleasing others.
Work is part of the human calling (Genesis 1:28; 2:15;Colossians 3:23; 2 Thessalonians 3:10). Generativity is a portion of what gives our lives a sense of meaning and purpose. Christians are also expected to be self-sacrificial, at times giving beyond themselves.
However, nowhere in the Bible does God equate our acceptability or our identity with our work, and how often or less often we blog. And nowhere does God command or condone working so hard that we become burned out.
So what does the Bible say about burnout?
Jesus said, “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light” (Matthew 11:28–30).
This invitation of Christ is for me, the ultimate solution to being busy and burning out. It took me time to realize this truth. This refreshment I got from Christ included the following:
- Reconnecting with God and refreshing my spiritual life. I found and had enough time to spend with God (reading, studying, praying, being available at other activities outside of the internet) and not try to hurry through.
- Acknowledging the unhealthy rhythms in my life and counting the cost of them. I’m a multi-tasker, a big dreamer and a wannabe high achieved in my career and business. Without noticing I had signed up and committed myself to so many things which though good, became unhealthy since they were each taking a toll on my life in many different ways. I had to learn to rely fully on God to lead and instruct me on anything He wanted me to do.
- Setting goals to bring rest to my body, mind, and spirit. I had to include a regular time to rest in my goals and daily planner. This is really helping.
- I Dared to be myself. Have you ever had to brag to others about how busy you are in order to make yourself seem important to them? i did that a lot. I learned to stop wasting time trying to manage other people’s impressions of me, and truly embrace my unique calling and purpose from God and asked for contentment.
- Delegating tasks to others who can help. I am much of a perfectionist and never one of those people who solicit help from others or trust them enough to do the job for me. My relying on God and learning to actually ‘rest in Him’ helped me learn in a hard way to begin enlisting help from other people whenever I can’t reasonably complete tasks on time. Delegating tasks whenever possible and, trusting in God’s design for relationships of people working together.
I am still a work in progress. But I felt the need to share these lessons with you and pray you get encouraged or blessed by it.
Have you been busy and burned out before? How did you recover from it? And what proved more helpful?