Burnout. Just hearing the word burnout can bring up feelings of exhaustion and hopelessness at work. Chances are good that if you’ve been involved in ministry in any capacity, you’ve faced feelings of burnout at some point.
Whether you started out 2019 feeling like you’re on track to avoid burnout, or whether you started off the year in a rut on day 1, every day gives us a chance for a fresh start. Today’s post offers five practical suggestions to help avoid burnout in 2019:
- Admit that you can’t do it all. A lot of times this is something we really do have to admit. We convince ourselves that working harder will solve all our problems. Work hard, but remember that there will always be more on the to-do list.
- Refuse to live in comparison. Sometimes we don’t know we want something until we see what other people have. Comparison steals away contentment that can be found in following God where He lead us. Without contentment burnout comes quickly, so don’t spend your energy trying to live up to comparisons.
- Turn off the screens. Because of how accessible technology makes us, we can work in flexible ways that weren’t really possible, even five years ago. We never have to be in the office to get things done. But the accessibility of work can take over our lives if we let it. Give yourself permission to stop working when the day is over. Your emails will still be there tomorrow.
- Say “no” more. It’s difficult for most people in ministry to say “no” to things because we know that our work has an eternal impact. But saying no to others sometimes gives you the freedom to say yes to your family and yourself. We can’t keep giving of ourselves if we never take the time to take care of ourselves.
- Take a personal retreat. Wouldn’t it be awesome if you could take a weekend and go to a cabin (with a rocking chair, hot tub, and lots of coffee!) to spend restful time with the Lord? Maybe you can … and if you can, do it! But a personal retreat can be as simple as blocking out a few hours one morning or afternoon to spend time reading the Bible and praying.
Jesus said, “Come to me, all of you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take up my yoke and learn from me, because I am lowly and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.” As you serve God in 2019, remember that Jesus is the only one who can offer true rest!
Logan Meek leads the Student Life for Kids team. Logan joined the Student Life For Kids team in 2014 after spending two years as a Sixth Grade teacher with Teach For America. He believes in the importance of strong kids ministry to help kids build strong spiritual foundations.