You are ready to quit. You are ready to give up on all of it. You are tired, and you feel as though you have been tired for a LONG, LONG, time. You are not even overwhelmed anymore. You no longer care enough to be overwhelmed. You are just plain done.
You prayed, and you waited. Then you prayed, and you waited some more. Then you prayed, and you waited some more. At this point, you are over it. You are staring burnout in the face, and you are doing your best to avoid it.
Your job is more than you can handle. Your children are more than you can handle. Your marriage is more than you can handle. Your purpose is more than you can handle.
And here I am telling you to rest, as if you did not try resting, as though the thought never occurred to you.
I am right there with you. My body is tired. My spirit is tired, and the only reason I am putting fingers to keyboard is because just when I was done, God whispered (or maybe He shouted), “Don’t quit!”
…”Whatever you do, don’t quit Brittany…rest.”
So I am here because I am learning how to avoid burnout. I am here to share what happens after you decide not to quit. I am here because I am learning that rest is more than just eight hours of sleep at night.
How to Avoid Burnout 1
Rest Your Body
While rest is more than eight hours of sleep at night, eight hours of sleep is a good starting point. Recently, I found the bedtime option on my phone. I set what time I want to wake up each day and how many hours of sleep I ideally want to get. Last week I averaged 5 hours and 56 minutes of sleep. (That average is only as high as it is because on weekends, I get to “sleep in.”) How can I successfully avoid burnout on less than six hours of sleep? My body needs rest. Your body needs rest. It will eventually shut down on you without it. You cannot continue to go when your body says no.
How to Avoid Burnout 2
Rest in Your Purpose
God will send in reinforcement.
This weekend, I almost quit my purpose before I could walk in it. I was sick and tired of being sick and tired, and I almost admitted defeat. Then I heard my favorite movie line whispered in my ear, “Just wake up in the morning. I’ll take it from there.” So I woke up the next day, and I put on a show which I felt paled in comparison to the others around me putting on that same show. I could not read the critics so I just had to wait on the ratings and reviews. In tears, I told my sister the final results. The reviewer, the woman with the face which showed no emotion for the entire performance, smiled at me. She said, “If I had a child, I would want them to have your class.”
God applauded from heaven. He gave me that look that said I told you so.
Then He sent in Steven Furtick on Wednesday, with his sermon on Joseph and his coat of many colors. He reminded me that every single time God called Joseph to do something, and the situation was looking more than a little dim, that “the Lord was with Joseph.”
The Lord is with you when He calls you. He is there right in the middle of your purpose. He simply needs you to keep walking.
How to Avoid Burnout 3
Rest Your Soul
So you did the first two and you are still tired. You still want to quit. You still want to throw in the towel. You know that burnout is inevitable if something does not change so you are about to make some major changes. You clearly heard, “don’t quit” but you “don’t care.” Here is where you need more Mary and less Martha.
I can feel your eyes rolling. I gave God that same eye roll. Mary does not pay the bills. Mary does not clean the house. Mary does not make sure things get done. Someone has to get things done. And Mary is not going to make the cut.
“Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.” Matthew 11:28-30
As much as you and I are sick of hearing about Mary, she knew exactly where to go to avoid burnout. She went right to the feet of Jesus.
As I was reading my devotion this morning, giving God the usual look of aggravation after having to sit through yet another reminder to be “more like Mary,” I realized something. The world does not need you to be Mary OR Martha. The world need you to be Mary AND Martha.
Sometimes you need to get more sleep. Sometimes you need to keep going. And sometimes you need to rest your soul. No matter what type of rest you need to avoid burnout, remember someone is depending on you to find it.
Someone needs you to figure out how to avoid burnout. Someone’s life depends on it. I know that does not make things easier. I am not here to make things easier. I am here to tell you “it” is worth it.
You want to give up because you have decided “it” is no longer attainable. You can no longer do “it.” “It” is never going to happen. You are wrong.
You are not broken. You are just tired.
And when you are tired, you do not quit. You rest.
What are some things you do to avoid burnout?
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