Facing Burnout

Have you ever thought as you were starting your day that you just felt tired of the daily grind? Maybe you just don’t feel like doing anything. Your mind aimlessly wonders, and you can’t concentrate.  You are tired of letting out the dogs, doing the dishes, washing the clothes, helping the kids with homework, driving to work. Maybe you wonder what the point is. Even if you do all the chores, work, and errands of today, tomorrow, there will be new ones.  Right?  

You just want to escape to an island, plant your toes in the sand and listen to the waves crash against the beach… and do … absolutely nothing. Burnout strikes us all. At one point or another, each of us experiences periods in life that feel like either nothing is happening, or life is boring, or the same ole’ issues, problems, challenges or obstacles are weighing us down.  

Those feelings can leave us wanting to give up, or escape. So, what do we do as parents when life just feels hard or we want to quit and give up?  

  1. Remember that burnout comes from being exhausted physically, mentally or emotionally. Sometimes it can come from all three areas. It can cause us to withdraw from life and others, feeling cynical, hopeless or despondent. But remember, that when you feel this way, not to isolate from others. Reach out to family and friends and let them know you are struggling. We need one another and we need the body of Christ.  

  1. We need to keep going. Sometimes, we need to hear the words, “You got this.” or “You can do this.” “Keep going!” We all know that there are days that are so much harder than others. And it feels like we take one step forward and three back. But these days will pass, and we will be so glad we didn’t give up and that we kept up the good fight. Because ultimately, when it comes right down to it if we know Christ as our Lord and Savior, then the work we are doing should be for Him. Even as I write this, it sounds trite, because when we are burned out, we are burned out. And that translates into not caring. Our feelings are blah, and our attitudes are blah. But, sometimes, if we act then our feelings will follow those actions. And we do want to hear at the end of our lives that God is well pleased with us. 2 Timothy 4:7 says, I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith. 

  1. Third, it is okay to take breaks to rejuvenate. Do something that gives you joy and energy. Maybe it is taking a long bubble bath, going to get a coffee with a friend, taking a walk, or seeing a movie. These things are good and needed when we feel burned out and beaten down by life. We need to do those things that make us smile and lift our spirits. 

  1. Stay in the Word and in prayer. I love the Psalms, because so many times I feel just like David. One minute he is telling God how much He desires Him and loves Him and the next he is pouring out his sorrows and disappointments. I love that we get to see how human David truly is. What encourages me so much about him is that we are told he is a man after God’s own heart. And yet, he struggled with his emotions and in life. 

  1. Remember that this too will pass. My mom has always told me this when I am feeling down or struggling. Some days are going to be great. Others are tiring or boring or disappointing. Don’t let them pull you under. Remember we serve an infinite, powerful, God who created us to need Him. Let Him invade every aspect of your heart and being today.  

Sherry Shepherd is an experienced, adaptable professional specialized in writing for faith-based organizations. She has worked as an editor and writer for newspaper, movie guides, publishing houses, churches and several non-profits. Her scope of work includes corporate and fundraising materials, advertising, web, brochures, booklets, books, blogs and biblical training materials. However, her heart is drawn to any type of creative writing, where she can motivate while conveying a biblical message and telling a story. Sherry is the mother of three grown children, who have been the source of some of her greatest joy, laughter and material!