Most of us have bad days. We get bored, overloaded, and feel unappreciated. We get defeated when the dozen of balls we’re juggling go unnoticed and unrewarded. There are some days when getting out of bed requires a tug boat. Everyone one has a bad day here and there but if this characterizes your life MOST days, you may be flirting with burnout.
One definition of burnout is: a state of emotional, mental, and physical exhaustion caused by excessive and prolonged stress.
Here are some differences between Stressed Out and Burned Out:
STRESSED OUT BURNED OUT
Over engaged Disengagement
Loss of Energy Loss of Motivation
Damage is Physical Damage is Emotional
Urgency & Hyperactivity Helplessness & Hopelessness
Emotions are Overactive Emotions are Blunted
Leads to Anxiety Leads to Detachment
Can Kill Prematurely May make life seem not worth living
My motto is simple, “Prevention is the Preferred Strategy.” I’d rather prevent burnout than deal with burnout. If excessive stress can move me to a state of burnout then I choose to prevent the stress or at least work toward managing my stress.
In Kids Ministry it’s easy to get overwhelmed by the work, the pressure, and the push (internal and external) to do better. So I’m trying a few tips to help manage my stress and prevent burnout.
Find fresh spiritual discipline. Discipline is key, spiritual discipline is transforming!
Take regular time off. Too many folks don’t take time away from their stress and allow their system to heal. TAKE A DAY OFF!
Get proper exercise. It’s remarkable how much better you feel after a brisk walk or a quick workout.
Get proper sleep. It’s said that adults need 8-9 hours sleep per night. Sleep allows our bodies to heal and regroup for the next day. Turn of the TV, put down the smart-phone and GO TO BED!
Relax. Take a bubble bath, read a book, TURN OFF YOUR CELL PHONE and relax.
Join a small support/prayer group. Accountability and support are crucial. Find a confidant and spend time in prayer and support of one another.
Cognitive Restructuring. You have to decide to handle this issue of stress in your life. That decision will include acceptance for your part and a decision to make a determined effort to take actions to de-stress.
Have Fun! Take time to celebrate, laugh, and have a little fun along the way. Decide to find humor in every situation. Laughter is good medicine!
Bill Emeott Since 2003 Bill has served as a Kids Ministry Specialist for LifeWay. His passions include childhood ministry leadership training and development, leading children’s Bible Study, and being an Uncle! Bill has been teaching children at First Baptist Nashville for ten years.