battling burnout {part two} :: steps to recovery

This week we’ve talked of burnout & the relation to living a purposeful life.

A definition to consider and evaluate, and first steps of making our way back.  Of believing that yes, there is hope.  There is recovery from this dark place where stress, overworking, neglecting our needs or striving for perfection has led us.

Returning to more normal patterns of living and recuperating demands looking deeply within and confessing to our state of affairs.

That’s not always easy.  Who wants to blurt out to an onlooking world of family, friends, co-workers…

“Hey everybody!  I’m burnt out or very close to it.  Exhausted, spent and in need of a break.  Help!?”

But if we do not speak audibly,

our bodies, our minds, our attitudes begin to tell the story.  We will shut down one way or the other, it’s inevitable.  Jumping from stress to stress, event to life-changing event, demands to demands without pause will take a toll.  We can choose to anchor or dock ourselves for a time or the whole boat and everyone on it will experience potential shipwreck.

These are strong words, but spoken with compassion from a woman who knows.

Who understands what it’s like to jeopardize relationships, physical health, mental alertness and spiritual peace for the sake of ‘getting things done’ when I know it’s a myth that it’s all possible all of the time.

And so I earnestly plead with you today — want to live an intentional life authentic to God’s calling and direction?

Learn the rhythm of rest.

And while I don’t hold all of the answers, my own journey of recovery is offered as encouragement.  Continued from yesterday’s sharing on prayer and physical rest being priority, a few more steps to consider?

Embrace that recovery will take time.  Nothing will happen overnight, but step-by-step and little by little, healing and restoration is possible.  Keep an open timetable and allow for length and breadth to this return of normalcy.

Consider ways to nourish body and mind or allow another to make a plan for you.  Nourish is defined as to provide with the food or other substances necessary for growth, health, and good condition (Webster).  Start with prioritizing sleep and eating nourishing foods.  Ponder how to refresh yourself emotionally & mentally — what works for you?

Thoughts ::
Carving out time to be alone,
to be with others for relationship-building,
enjoying the outdoors more frequently,
taking an extended break from a project or from work,
taking a piece of time for art, for music, for listening…for sitting.
The possibilities are endless, so just choose one for now.
One that refreshes you and brings joy :: and indulge often.

Invite others to the journey. After taking days, weeks (maybe more?) to add in extra physical rest and/or feeding your body well, with pen and paper (or fingers and keyboard) begin jotting notes of where help is needed — where assistance should be invited.  The encouragement is to make a hard copy instead of simply a mental note.  Ask. For. Help.

You can hire help, invite another family member or close friend to assist, rely more on your spouse, appeal to your church family.  If this causes a squeamish feeling of inadequacy inside, return to prayer and remember this may only be a temporary need.

Say ‘no’ in order to say ‘yes’. In each season of life there are limits :: saying ‘no’ doesn’t need to be a drudgery or cause guilt!  Reframe the no into a yes — deciding not to participate in more projects, more opportunities, more events is freeing ourselves to say a big YES to recovery and healing.  And completely worth the effort.

Foster an environment of gratitude :: in spirit and in practice.  I cannot say enough how this exercise in documenting the blessings of life has changed me for the better.  Even in the darkest of moments, there is always grace, always a gift from His hand when time is taken to sit back and observe what it is.  Gratitude will lift your spirits and give hope.


Much more could be said, much more expanded on….

but I leave with repeating this phrase ::  You can and will recover.

“I will give them an undivided heart and put a new spirit in them; I will remove from them their heart of stone and give them a heart of flesh.” (Ezekiel 11:19 NIV)

Abundant grace to you.


{appreciation for all who have written in notes of reflection and thanksgiving for this series on intentional living — you are welcome!  I am praying for your situations, the areas of need.  May God grant you peace and wisdom in the journey.}


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