The word burnout means “the reduction of a fuel or substance to nothing through use or combustion.” It can also mean “physical or mental collapse caused by overwork or stress.”
Five Signs You Are Heading Towards A 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.
Types of Burnout
Burnout can be experienced in a variety of ways. Because our bodies, souls, minds, and spirits are integrated parts of a greater whole, the following types of burnout often come together and have a compounding effect on each other:
● Physical burnout can be triggered by a lack of exercise, physical effects of stress and sleeplessness. The overloaded schedule and stressful lives cause you forget to exercise, you eat unhealthy foods, and sleep less. If left unchecked, physical burnout can cause a weakened immune system, aches and pains, a change in appetite, and feeling tired all the time.
● Relational burnout is related to emotional burnout and can be caused by strained relationships. Constant interactions with energy draining people make you unusually susceptible for this type of burnout. Physical exhaustion and drama between between others can make you isolate yourself to get a break from relationships that drain your energy.
● Emotional burnout can be felt when you feel like you don't have anyone you can go to when you are anxious, or stressed out. This type of burnout can wreak a family because of the feelings of isolation. Emotional burnout can numb your ability have normal emotions and have a sense of failure and self-doubt.
● Spiritual burnout happens when you neglect your own spiritual life while trying to pour into the lives of others. Many of us do not have anybody pouring into our lives and we do not seek the life and strength of God for spiritual refreshment. If you don’t spend time with God through prayer or Scripture reading, you may be suffering from spiritual burnout!
A Prayer For When You Feel Stuck
by J. Scott McElroy
Matthew 11:28-30 NIV “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.”
Does it ever seem hard to make progress in your life; to reach goals (even daily ones) and fulfill your calling? You seem to be going in the right direction, making a little progress… and then you get bogged down. That stuck feeling surfaces again. Maybe it's caused by distraction, fear, or something that's just hard to put a finger on.
I often get stuck because I add unnecessary layers; to projects, to my day, to my work, to my routine. I add them because I think I know what needs to be done, or how something needs to look, or because I’m craving comfort or “balance,” or because I’m not ready to go on to the next thing. I add an unnecessary layer when I decide to read one more internet news story and then spend 10 minutes in the click-bait rabbit hole. When I get distracted by a task that seems more fun than the one I need to be focused on. When my priorities get jumbled, I overdo the preparation phase on a project, or when I spend unnecessary time and energy in order to impress people.
Yep, without a doubt unnecessary layers contribute extensively to that feeling of stuckness. And often those layers create a situation I have to deal with; scraping off the gook before things can function properly.
Additionally, I think my problem with stuckness has a lot to do with communication.
When I don’t take the time to communicate and consult with God about my day or my work and instead automatically follow what I think is right, it’s easy to add unnecessary layers. The Bible tells us he’ll reveal things to us when we ask him.
Jeremiah 33:3 NIV ‘Call to me and I will answer you and tell you great and unsearchable things you do not know.’
Proverbs 16:3 NIV Commit to the Lord whatever you do, and he will establish your plans.
James 1:5 NIV If any of you lacks wisdom, you should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to you.
Or even—as in my case—when we just get quiet for a moment and listen. Sometimes spending just a few minutes listening for his voice can save hours of extra work and stuckness.
God’s given me a new, very effective tool against stuckness: Keep in regular communication with him and keep asking him and myself, “Will this thing I’m doing or thinking about doing add an unnecessary layer to my life or work?” Give it a try.
We Humble Ourselves Before You And Confess That We Often Go Our Own Way Instead Of Consulting You On Our Plans. And Sometimes We Feel Stuck, As A Result.
Thank You For Your Grace And Mercy Towards Us, To Give Us Wisdom And Understanding In How To Avoid Adding Unnecessary Layers To Our Lives. Please Give Us A Listening Ear To Your Guidance. Please Give Us The Strength To Overcome The Temptation To Add Unnecessary Layers And Encourage Us With A New Sense Of Freedom. Enable Us To Live The Life Of Faith That You Created Us For!
In Jesus Name, Amen!