While goal-setting and being productive are good things, I can easily burn out from too much. That might seem really odd, but I think what happens is I ramp up my efforts, I set some nearly impossible goals, and set the train of progress in motion at dangerous speeds. I can travel maybe a mile like that, maybe five, before I just simply fall off the tracks.
Essentially, my brain gives up and fatigue sets in. I find that it’s too much. I went too fast too quickly, and consequently I crash and blow up in flames.
Yes, this happened – I’m struggling with burnout right now.
I haven’t written hardly anything this month. And, of course, such lack of progress sends me reeling with doubt and disappointment. Which, doesn’t help me out of such a situation. It drains my creativity and my very desire to write, until I stare at blank pages with nothing, absolutely nothing, to say.
My husband (I thank God for him daily) knew what was going on long before I realized, and strongly suggested that I stop trying to write or do anything really productive, and go rest. And by rest, that means possibly a nap, playing video or computer games, reading, watching a movie, etc. Simply resting.
I took his suggestion, and felt guilty for it. But you know what? It felt amazing. This post is a testament to the fact that he was right – I needed to recharge.
So, my original post the week of New Year’s was going to be about pausing to reflect on the past year. Which I still think you need to do! However, given my recent burn out, I’m also going to suggest that you find time to just flat out pause and rest.
If you’ve got lots of big goals for 2015, great! (Here’s suggestions on how to make those goals a reality.) Yet, I would recommend that you also need to take a day, or as much time as you can spare, and simply rest. If you have kids, I recommend family games (I have no idea if this is relaxing as a parent, but as a child, I loved family games and found them incredibly restful most of the time). If they’re really little children, maybe simply some time to yourself is what you need. Try to make it happen, either by bartering babysitting time with your spouse, family, friends, whoever. Let yourself pause, and just breathe. Rest and recharge.
We were not created with inexhaustible energy. In fact, I often wonder if burnouts are meant to remind us that we are not God, and that He is ready to help us go beyond ourselves. I am always far more keenly aware of God’s power when I have nothing left than when I am charging ahead, full force, thinking I can get it all done.
So accept the fact that yes, your resources are limited. And that’s perfectly fine, and normal. You will be able to face 2015 so much better if you give yourself permission to be human, and to rest.
I pray that you will be drawn closer to God, and that 2015 is an amazing year for you.
Have you ever experienced burnout? If so, how do you pause and recharge?