In one of my first posts on burnout I gave you five signs that you may be headed for burnout;
- You are beginning to despise people and your compassion for them is decreasing instead of increasing.
- You continually tell yourself and loved ones that “this is just a really busy season and that you will slow down soon”. (However, the truth is that you have been singing that song for years.)
- You begin to make easy decisions instead of the right ones… because the right ones take too much work!
- You cannot remember the last time you simply had fun with your friends and family… and joy is something you talk about but are not experiencing for yourself!
- You are experiencing unexplained stress, depression and/or anxiety. You may even be having panic attacks.
- You’re good at taking care of others, but bad at filling your own tank.
- You are good at problem solving, but what you need is rest.
- You are good at listening to others, but find it hard to share your hardships.
- You’re busy getting things done, but you forget to breathe.
- You zone out on social media, but you’re actually stressing yourself out.
- You’re reading before bedtime to relax, but still can’t fall asleep.
- You pray about what you can do for God, rather than how your heart is doing: your desires, worries and fears.
- You are always planning and thinking ahead, but experiencing God’s grace comes only one day at a time.
- Your strengths are being reliable and responsible, but you find it difficult to ask for help.
- You are good at performing, but God wants your heart, more than your work. God sees what your soul needs is to be known and loved.
We stress when we hide our hearts and go into survival mode, going through our checklists and ignoring what we need most: love.
Today I want to give you some more things to look out for to keep you from falling into the burnout pit. The eleven warning signs are excerpts, edited by me.
11 Critical Warning Signs You're on the Road to Burnout
*To read the original post click here.
1. Your Passion Fades
Everybody struggles with lack of passion from time to time, but burnout moves you into a place of sustained motivation loss. Remember passion? It’s what made you fall in love, stare at white clouds on a blue-sky day, jump up and down when you got accepted into your college of choice, and cry when you saw your firstborn. It’s what infused your work with enthusiasm and made you a gifted, obsessive nerd at the hobby you used to pursue with a smile. Passion got you into all kinds of things, and it’s one of the factors that makes both life and leadership wonderful over a long period of time.
2. You No Longer Feel the Highs or Lows
If you’re healthy, you feel things. You experience highs and lows. When you burn you don’t feel either anymore. Your main emotion is numbness. You’re designed to celebrate when people are celebrating and mourn when people are mourning. If that’s not happening, something’s not right.
3. Little Things Make You Disproportionately Emotional
It’s not that burned-out people feel zero emotion, but when you’re burning out, you often experience inappropriate or disproportionate emotions. Little things set you off. Treating small things like big things and big things like small things are both signs that something deeper is wrong. That’s never good.
4. Everybody Drains You
People are a mixed bag for sure. Some energize you. Some don’t. When you burn out, nobody energizes you anymore. Not even your family, or friends. In my head, You know they are good people, but your heart can’t feel it. When nobody energizes you, they’re not the problem. You are.
5. You're Becoming Cynical
It’s not that cynicism is itself proof you’re burning out. You can be a cynic for a long time without burning out. But if you find your cynicism is advancing at a rapid rate, it may be a sign you’re burning out. Cynicism never finds a home in a healthy heart.
6. Nothing Satisfies You
One of the hardest aspects of burnout is that nothing seems to satisfy you anymore. Sleep doesn't. Prayer doesn't. Good people didn’t. Recreation doesn't. Vacations don't Work doesn't Food doesn't . That’s a sign of depression, and it’s also a sign you’re burned out.
7. You Can't Think Straight
When you’re burning out, your heart messes with your head and you lose the ability to think clearly. People make stupid decisions when they’re burned out. So keep reminding yourself: Just don’t do anything stupid. Some days, simply avoiding stupid is a win.
8. Your Productivity Is Dropping
One indication of burnout is my low productivity especially if you are known productive leader and person. But when I fall into burnout, even writing a simple email can take a long time. You can't get your thoughts together. If you're working more and producing less pay attention.
9. You're Self-Medicating
In the early stages of burnout, many people turn to self-medicating to numb the pain. This might involve overeating, overworking, sexual addictions, drinking, impulsive spending, or drugs, even work. When this occurs, you’ve chosen a path of self-medication instead of self-care to deal with the pain. People who are burning out almost always choose self-medication over self-care.
10. You Don't Laugh Anymore
This seems like such a small thing, but it’s actually a very big thing. If you’re burning out, you don’t laugh like you used to. When you’re burning out, nothing seems fun or funny, and at its worst you begin to resent people who enjoy life.
11. Sleep and Time Off No Longer Refuel You If you’re just tired, a good night’s sleep or a week or two off will help most healthy people bounce back with fresh energy. If you’re burning out, sleep and time off no longer do the trick. You could have a month off when you’re burned out and not feel any difference. Not being refueled when you take time off is a major warning sign that you’re burning out.
Some of you might be really alarmed right now because you’re registering eight out of eleven symptoms—or maybe all eleven. Some of you might be concerned for your spouse or a best friend because you recognize the symptoms in him or her. So what do you do?
If you show any signs of burnout, Get help. The best help will come from a combination of the care of a medical doctor and an excellent, trained Christian counselor (if you can't find a trained Christian counselor find a counselor anyway). Your medical doctor will help you figure out how serious your symptoms are, and a skilled counselor will help you identify the reasons and conditions that caused you to burn out. If you’re in a state of burnout or nearing it, I can guarantee that you have issues.
Get help! If you don't you’ll not only hurt yourself but those you love and those who love you.