Source: Relevant Magazine - Kera Package
Quit Working So Hard
You may think burnout only happens to other people and that you’re invincible. You’re not. Here’s 10 tips to see burnout coming and avoid it.
“You know they say it’s better to burn out than rust out, but either way you’re out.”
You’ve probably heard this or something like it before. And you’ve probably scoffed at the hypocrisy or ignorance of the statement. You are telling me about time management? Mr. Overcommitment himself is suddenly an expert on this topic. Or you think, Really? You always play it safe; you rusted out before you even started.
It’s easy to mock others for fearing burnout when you feel like you are invincible. I’m different than them. I’m young. I’m innovative. I’m resilient.
But the tide turns when you realize you are only 22 and you’ve already had a complete burnout. Twice. In one year.
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My career as a missionary officially started in August 2010. I was getting paid to share God’s love with college students. Life couldn’t get much better.
By May 2011, I found myself completely burned out. I became rather indifferent toward my job. I wanted nothing to do with my friends. I struggled to spend time with God. My body was rebelling against me in a constant stream of illness. I was battling insomnia and forgetting to eat, and I hadn’t consciously exercised in months. Some days, I found myself too worn out to even leave my apartment. I had no energy to do any of the things I loved and no motivation to change my circumstances. At the end of the school year, my roommate confronted me. She was concerned I was falling apart and frustrated our ministry was suffering because I wasn’t fully present. I knew she was right, but I didn’t want to hear it.
Fast forward through three weeks of me attempting to pull things together. At the end of May, I boarded a plane and headed to Spain for the summer. There, I worked with an awesome team of missionaries focused on prayer and street outreach. My teammates confronted my overcommitment issues, forced me to learn to rest and taught me how to live life with a healthy rhythm of work, play and prayer.
When I arrived back on campus in early August, everything I learned about rhythm was quickly forgotten in the busyness of a new semester—long days, sleepless nights, forgotten devotionals and the resurfacing of all my bad habits. By early October, my boss noticed an onset of fatigue again and confronted me because I was seemingly withdrawn. Later that same week, I found myself spending the night in the emergency room because the combination of a virus, anxiety, dehydration and exhaustion had left my body completely wrecked.
Burnout isn’t just a word older folks use to scare and contain the younger generation—as I had previously thought. It’s a psychological term used to describe exhaustion and diminished interest.
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