The LORD is my shepherd, I shall not be in want. He makes me lie down in green pastures, he leads me beside quiet waters, he restores my soul. Psalm 23
I didn’t listen when God tried to tug me away from my driving need to get everything done. I have an insane sense of responsibility and it is hard to walk away, let someone else do the job or to just say no in the first place. And I reached that place of burnout and I had no choice but to slow down. But since I didn’t hit the pause button from a place of strength, I am now I am in recovery mode. It doesn’t feel all that great. I wish I had listened to the still small voice of the Holy Spirit in my heart.
I don’t think I’m alone. The pace we live in our culture is exhausting. There is always one more (great) thing to be involved in. To give our energy and time to. It can be difficult to choose between good and better, so we do it all. We feel bad letting people down, so we take on one more task. And some seasons of life there really are not many good alternatives but to keep going. And then we have to remain faithful.
I don’t believe God means for us to go through life in burnout mode. Psalm 23 reminds us that the Lord leads us to still waters. That place we can find rest. But we have to cooperate and drink from the offering.
Looking back, I could have slowed down and participated in God’s watering of my soul. And maybe prevent an emotional burnout. Perhaps one or two of these ideas could help you slow down and rest with God.
- Throw away the list for a day. Or at least modify it to a short short list.
- Ask for help instead of pushing through on my own.
- Say no to anymore activities.
- Slow down. Maybe it’s just for a night. Maybe it’s an entire day or week.
- Laugh more. With those you love.
- Lots of deep breathing.
- Take 5 and make some white space moments. Just to be still.
- Let your creative side out. Even if it’s with the kids.
- Be alone. In quiet.
- Pray, worship, read your Bible.
- Be more nutrition conscious.
- Move more.
- Sleep more.
- Take a mini-stacation. Every day for an hour, instead of the list, do something fun. Or ask your hubby to take the kids for a day and go do what you want. Be sure and leave the house before the kids get up!
If you’re like me and want to read a bit more about this idea of less is better, here are some books I recommend.
- Balanced by Tricia Goyer
- Finding Spiritual Whitespace by Bonnie Gray
Have you ever experienced burnout?
What helped you move toward emotional health?