Prevent Burnout in Your Life Today

Prevent Burnout in Your Life

Prevent Burnout in Your Life

Photo by >Otto

The Best Remedy is Prevention

So maybe you have just experienced some burnout or stress in your life and you realize you don’t want it to happen again. Or, maybe you have never experienced burnout, but you don’t intend on trying it. In any event, you are now trying to figure out how you can avoid burnout in the future. Well good news, there are ways to prevent burnout. All it takes is some dedication and discipline to observe 5 easy guidelines.

These are the 5 simple guidelines to follow to prevent burnout in your life.

The first, and most important guideline to preventing burnout is to rely on God for strength, wisdom, support, and help in your ministry. Many people get burned out simply because they try to do everything on their own. They think they can handle everything, but they can’t, and when it all comes crashing down, they feel depressed and frustrated with life. The key is to rely on God, because we cannot do everything on our own and God is waiting, even desiring for us to turn to Him and let Him take control of our lives. What areas of your life do you feel you need to rely on God more? Do you trust that God has a plan for you, even though it probably isn’t the same as the one you have in your head? Do you need to ask God to show you areas in your life that you should trust God about? Take a minute and think about these questions.

Secondly, start your day, every day, by reading the Bible and praying alone. Make it one of the first things you do when you wake up. This might be hard to do at first but it will eventually become a habit and the benefits go far beyond simply preventing burnout.

The third guideline is to make healthy living a priority. Spend time exercising a few times a week at least, and make sure you are eating healthy. Take care of you physical body and you will feel much better for it. Additionally, you will probably look better for it as well.

Fourth, set aside personal time for doing something you enjoy each day. This could be almost anything, such as taking a short walk, reading part of a book, making a tasty meal for yourself, hiking outdoors, or any number of things that make you happy and feel recharged. Every now and then try something new and exciting. This is a good time for you to simply enjoy life and the creation God made.

Finally, know when to say No. Decide what things you will take on, and what things you will let others do. Don’t get swamped in ‘good’ things and miss out on the great things. If you are starting to turn in poor performances on certain tasks because you were busy with other things, it might be time to consider reorganizing your life and focusing on a few valuable things.

Now you are ready to prevent and avoid burnout in your life. But remember, these are not guidelines that you follow only when you start to get burned out. No, these should be implemented today, and should become a regular part of your routine day. If you miss certain parts every now and then, it’s OK, but try to form these guidelines into habits, which will make burnout prevention a habit in your life, and that leads to much more productive living.

I hope that these articles were helpful to you and that you can take something from them. We will soon be offering them all together as a PDF. Be sure to check that out when we get it up.

God Bless and stay un-stressed

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What You Should Know About Living in Your Strengths

Living in your strengths is probably the best way to avoid burnout and not living in your strengths is probably the best way to get burned out. Thus, it is very important to understand what it is that God has created you for – because he has created you for a special purpose.

Living in Your Strengths Can Help you Become a Strong Wave

Living in Your Strengths Can Help you Become a Strong Wave

Photo by PatrickSmithPhotography

We each have certain things we are good at. I am sure you can name a few things that you enjoy doing and are really good at. Maybe you know a lot about a computer, or its easy for you to work on cars, or maybe you are good at sports, no matter what it is, we each have specific strengths. God created us with certain talents and abilities for us to use to glorify Him. If you aren’t living your strengths, It’s time to hit the brakes and pay close attention to the rest of this because this could just save you a lot of time, stress, and wasted energy.

Not using your strengths is simply ridiculous. Check out this example to help you understand, if you don’t already. If you had the option to play baseball or football and you were extremely good at say, baseball but you knew next to nothing about football. Would you really try to go play football? No, of course not! You would go play baseball because that is what you are good at, that is your strong sport. Its the same way with your strengths. If you have certain strengths, you should embrace and use them. Don’t try to ignore them and work on a weakness.

But, you might say, How can I live my strengths if I don’t really know them? That’s actually very easy, there are many tests that will show what kinds of strengths you have. These tests are rather accurate and many are free online. Simply take a minute and search for strengths tests and then find a good one to take. It is such a valuable resource to know what your strengths are, and, it’s quite interesting and even surprising. Be sure to come back and retake these tests every so often to see how you are changing, because there might be small changes over time based on your job or primary activities.

Once you know what your strengths are, take some time to think about how you are using them, maybe even without knowing it, and how you can start using them more.

If you are having a tough time thinking about where you have already been using your strengths, think about activities that you simply love and you often lose track of time while doing. When you use your strengths you will enjoy using them. You will experience success and contentment from using your strengths.

Living in your strengths has incredible benefits with reducing stress caused by trying, and failing at being successful while using a weakness. Plus, it will reduce the chance or getting burned out. And, it will even help you be energetic and excited about life.

God made us with a purpose, and the ability to complete the things he has for us in life. He gave you strengths to use, now start using them.

Live life to the fullest, live in your strengths!

If you want more information about living in your strengths or you have any questions, LeaderCast.com has the answers, or at least will help you get them.

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Healing from Burnout

Healing and Redemption
Healing and Redemption

Photo by Ian Britton

So, you are burned out, and now you want to know what to do about it right? Well, if you have read my articles, Signs of Burnout, and Ramifications of Burnout, You know exactly where you are and what’s going on, if you haven’t read those, I suggest you check them out.

Now that you know what the signs of burnout are, and what the results or ramifications can be if you don’t get help, you are probably asking, how do I recover? How do I heal from being burned out? Well, not to say that its easy, but there are several easy steps to recovering from burnout. One of the main parts is simply recognizing that you are burned out. It’s amazing that many people simply don’t realize that the reason for their depression and disinterest in life is because of being burned out. So now that you know that you are burned out, you are already on your way to recovery! Isn’t that good news? Now, let’s start getting deeper.

To start healing, follow the 13 steps listed below. Take time to think about how you will do each one. Ask God to help you as you heal. It is important to remember that He will be the one to heal you, but following these 13 steps will be a great guide along the way.

(if you feel like 13 steps is just to overwhelming at this time, you can skip down and look out the 4 essential keys to remember.)

The 13 comprehensive steps to healing from stress and burnout:

  1. Spend time alone with God each morning, or any specific time you can consistently set aside for alone time. During this time read the Bible and write in a journal, pray for the day’s activities and tell God what’s on your mind. This is one if not the most important step you can take to both recover from and prevent burnout and stress. I can’t emphasize enough how important it is to daily spend time with God.
  2. Balance and invigorate your life by exercising regularly. Good physical conditioning strengthens the body’s immune system and increases endorphins that are the brain’s natural tranquilizers. Plus you get, and stay, in great shape.
  3. Get enough rest. Allow adequate time for sleep. Contrary to what was taught in a previous generation, most people need more sleep than they get. Adrenal arousal reduces one’s need for sleep. But this is a trap, and people ultimately pay the penalty for it. Aim for somewhere around 7 hours a night; just make sure it’s enough that you feel rested for the next day.
  4. Learn to be flexible. Only the gospel is unchanging. One’s ideas and priorities may need to change. Flexibility reduces the likelihood of frustration. When things come up, try to work with them instead of letting them ruin your day.
  5. Slow down and enjoy life. Remember, God is never in a hurry. Hurriedness is a human characteristic caused by inadequate planning and poor time management. Hurry speeds up the wear and tear of one’s body and mind and increases the production of destructive adrenaline.
  6. Learn constructive ways of dealing with anger. The gospel is a gospel of forgiveness. Dispense forgiveness liberally to those who hurt you. Remember, anger is a signal that something is wrong with one’s environment, or it is evidence that one is in a fight-or-flight mode. Identify the source and confront it assertively.
  7. Pay attention to little hassles; they are more likely to kill you than the big ones. The everyday, minor irritations are the deadliest. Keep them to a minimum.
  8. Develop the ability to be empathetic as you care for others and keep sympathy under control. Understand your own neurotic needs and do not allow them to affect the way you pastor.
  9. Focus your ministry on essentials. Reduce redundancies, eliminate unnecessary activities, avoid demands that will stretch you too thin, and learn how to say no kindly, without giving offense and without experiencing a sense of guilt.
  10. Stay in touch with reality. One’s ambitions must not outrun the limits of his capabilities. Seek honest feedback from trusted friends on your talents, then, pray for wisdom and set your sights accordingly. Aiming too high at unrealistic goals to satisfy an unsanctified ambition will only lead to burnout.
  11. Avoid states of helplessness by taking control and implementing a coping strategy no matter how minor. Helplessness is often an erroneous belief that a person is trapped and no solutions are possible. Exercise faith, believe that solutions are possible, and break out of the helplessness cycle.
  12. If you cannot resolve a major conflict in your life, leave it and move on if necessary. Notions of being superhuman often keep people in severe conflict situations. People believe they should be able to master every circumstance, and this can lead to a destructive persistence. Even Jesus was hindered in what He could do (Matthew 13:58) and had to move on. Why not you?
  13. Finally, be willing to seek help and support from friends or family, or even an online source, such as LeaderCast.com. You don’t need to go through this alone, get some support     and prayer from others.

These are the steps, now go back and if you haven’t already, think of ways to apply each of the steps in your own life. How are you going to change in order to recover from burnout?

In order to help you remember the basic keys to recovery, here are the four keys to remember to help you recover and heal from burnout.

One, Slow down your life. Take a break from things, go on a vacation, say no to requests from people and try to do the tasks you already have better. If you are really swamped with the things you are doing, try passing some on to others.  Ask a friend if they will take over certain areas or tasks for a little while.

Two, Get support. Share your feelings and thoughts with a close friend or family member. Make it known that you are taking a short break from things to rest and evaluate life.

Three, Reevaluate your goals, dreams, activities, and job. Spend time thinking about where you are in life and what your goals for life are. It might be time to forget some dreams and even come up with new ones.

And Four, Seek God and ask for his support, guidance and healing. You are burned out probably because you were doing too much. Now it’s time to stop, and ask God for direction and assistance with life. We are not meant to live life on our own. God wants to be a part of it and help and support us along the way.

Now, it is time for action! Start following these steps today, don’t brush it off or claim to be to busy. Go make a plan, create a schedule and then stick to it. The main thing you need to do now is act.

Come back soon to learn how to prevent burnout and live in your strengths.

Ramifications of Burnout

The Ramifications of Burnout

The Ramifications of Burnout

Photo by Adam Fick

What are the Ramifications of Burnout?

Now that you know what burnout is, and what the signs of stress and burnout are, it’s important to learn what the ramifications of burnout could be if left unchecked. Stress can start off small, but then grow to impact how we act, think, speak and even live. It can cause huge problems in relationships with people, and even God. Here are some of the ways stress impacts people’s lives:

(Stress impacts lives in a dramatic way)

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  • About one half of Americans say that stress has a negative impact on both their personal and professional lives.
  • About one-third (31%) of employed adults have difficulty managing work and family responsibilities.
  • Over one third (35%) cite jobs interfering with their family or personal time as a significant source of stress.
  • Stress causes more than half of Americans (54 percent) to fight with people close to them.
  • One in four people report that they have been alienated from a friend or family member because of stress.
  • 8% connect stress to divorce or separation.
    Source: American Psychological Association study, 2007. www.helpguide.org

When you think about it, this information is astounding! Fully 8% of Americans attribute stress as a reason for their divorce! That is hundreds of thousands if not millions of people. Along with that, stress also causes huge relationship problems for more than half of all Americans. How have you felt stress in your life recently? Have you been drifting away or avoiding close friends? Are you having other relationship problems? Take a minute and think about what kinds of ramifications in your own life have been the results of stress or burnout.

Now, you might be trying to figure out if you are stressed or burned out, because they do sound like the same thing, but they do have certain differences that you should know. Below is a chart showing the differences, results, and ramifications of stress and burnout.

Stress vs. Burnout

Stress

Burnout

· Characterized by over engagement

· Characterized by disengagement

· Emotions are over reactive

· Emotions are blunted

· Produces urgency and hyperactivity

· Produces helplessness and hopelessness

· Loss of energy

· Loss of motivation, ideals, and hope

· Leads to anxiety disorders

· Leads to detachment and depression

· Primary damage is physical

· Primary damage is emotional

· May kill you prematurely

· May make life seem not worth living

Source: www.helpguide.org

Now you might be thinking that stress and burnout only affect you and your life, well they do in a huge way, but they also affect others such as your family, friends, coworkers and church members. Here are a few statistics about stress in people’s lives:

  • Workplace stress costs more than $300 billion each year in health care, missed work and stress-reduction (American Institute of Stress, NY).
  • Workers who report that they are stressed incur health care costs that are 46 percent higher, or an average of $600 more per person, than other employees (Steven L. Sauter, chief of the Organizational Science and Human Factors Branch of the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health)
  • Workers in the United States already put in more than 1,800 hours on the job a year: 350 hours more than the Germans and slightly more than the Japanese (International Labor Office).
  • More than 30 percent of workers say they are “always” or “often” under stress at work. A quarter of those surveyed in 2002 said there often were not enough co-workers to get the job done (National Opinion Research Center at the University of Chicago).

Clearly, workplace stress and anxiety can cost millions or even billions of dollars each year. And that’s just with health care, what about in your personal life? What has it cost you personally? Well, as shown by some of the other statistics, stress and burnout also have significant effects on personal relationships.

So stress does have ramifications in both yours, and the lives of others around you. It is not something to be ignored, and if you ever have, or are experiencing stress or burnout, you know just how serious it is.

Maybe take a minute now to think about what is going on in your life and ponder how your stress level or burnout is affecting those who are close to you.

Since you now know what the signs of burnout are, and what the ramifications can be if left unchecked, it’s time to learn what the steps to healing are. The next article will help you by giving you the 13 steps to healing from burnout.

Signs of Burnout

burnout, stressed

Burned out

Burned out

Photo by Rockin’ Rob

Are you feeling overcome by the stresses of life? Do you feel like you are about to burn out? Tired of people, ministry, even life? Do you have a hard time getting up in the morning? If any of these make you stop and think, you may be well on your way to feeling burned out. Burnout occurs more often than one might expect with stress being the main cause. You are not alone though; here are some statistics and facts relating to stress and burnout in America.

  • One-third of Americans feel they are living with extreme stress.
  • About half of Americans (48%) feel that their stress has increased over the past five years.
  • Money and work are the leading causes of stress (mentioned by three quarters of Americans).
  • Clergy, Pastors and Religious workers lead some of the most stressful lives, along with doctors and lawyers.
  • Stress has been directly linked to disease and death.
  • Stress can have huge effects on physical and mental health.

Source: American Psychological Association study, 2007. www.helpguide.com

Now you might be feeling even more stressed, but don’t worry, the point of all this is to help you realize and recognize and then remove the stress in your life and prevent burnout.

Now, what are some of the reasons for feeling burned out? Well, there could be a number of reasons why you are feeling depressed, tired and stressed or maybe just one or two. It is important to identify them, and then to try to start cutting back or avoiding those things that cause burnout in your life. Read the following to learn what the 7 major burnout signs are and if you notice them in your life.

The 7 major signs of Burnout:

  • Constantly busy with “Important” things that cause you to feel overwhelmed. This could be due to an inability to say no to things, or simply a difficult and demanding job.
  • Feeling tired or constantly staying up late at night and not getting enough sleep. People might tell you that you look tired or you often fall asleep in meetings or church.
  • Reacting negatively to people or getting angry over little things. This doesn’t mean just getting angry with close friends and family, it also means you ignore or respond harshly to people you normally have to work hard at being nice to.
  • A sense of being spiritually drained or uninterested in the Bible and church. You might find yourself being distracted at church or simply wondering why you bother going.
  • Spiritual stagnation, no motivation to grow in your relationship with God.
  • Neglecting personal needs and those of your family. You might feel that you are already spending all of your energy on ministry or other ‘good’ things and when you come home you have nothing left and you just want to sit and be left alone or do whatever you want to do.
  • Work or ministry has become monotonous and you feel no enjoyment in what you do. This could be from working in the wrong kind of job.

Do you see these signs in your own life? Even small parts of these signs could be an indicator that you might be getting burned out from your ministry or job. And when you get burned out, your effectiveness in your job or ministry drops to near zero.

Now that you know what signs of burnout might be in your life, its time to look into what the ramifications of burnout are. Read the next article called Ramifications of Burnout to learn what happens when you get stressed, depressed, and burned out.

It is important to note that stress at times in some small amounts can be good. It can help motivate, and encourage you to get things done. But it is easy to go from a reasonable amount of stress to way to much, stress in your life. It can sometimes be hard to tell when you have a reasonable amount and when you are overloaded but if you notice any of the signs, it probably means you have to much stress in your life.

Burnout on the other hand, is not something you want any amount of in your life. It is important to realize the difference now so that you can deal with it and recover as soon as possible.


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