How to Overcome Burnout

Joshua and his sons and brothers and Kadmiel and his sons (descendants of Hodaviah) and the sons of Henadad and their sons and brothers—all Levites—joined together in supervising those working on the house of God….And all the people gave a great should of praise to the LORD, because the foundation of the house of the LORD was laid.

Ezra 3:9, 11b

Have you been overwhelmed? Burnt out?  Tired of being tired?

For me, I find myself in that state during the holidays. For those who work in nonprofits, Christmas is a busy season: fundraising before the calendar year closes, hosting extra parties, feeling compassion fatigue from the extra needs from clients during chilly weather and chilly relationships.

I remember one particularly crispy burned-out season. Yet again, I was tired, agitated, and emotional beyond what was “normal.” It’s the sign that I once again reached burnout. It was Thanksgiving, and all I could do was lie on the bed. And, to boot, I was on a mission trip. I couldn’t get out of bed. How embarrassing for a Christian not to serve on a day aimed to remind us of what we have to be thankful for!

That day, the last time I acknowledged my burnout, was also the turning point on my understanding of my calling. When someone phones-a-friend, and that friend is me, I have no problem saying “sure” in the attitude of servanthood. I had said “sure” to so many things that I was involved in nine different organizations, all doing amazing things and reaching for their missions. How can something so great make you so tired?

While I read today’s passage, Ezra struck me because he could have been burned out and tired before the end of chapter one! Rebuilding the temple is a big job and God handed it to the right person. But God didn’t hand it just to Ezra; He handed it to the Israelites.

Ezra shows us by example how to overcome burnout:

  • He had the backup of leadership (Cyrus)
  • He allowed people to self-select and opt-in on their own
  • He put supervisors into place and made sure they were of one mind and tribe—that they had a singular mission
  • He celebrated the bench marks along the way

Ezra inspires me to empower those on the team already, and to help find new volunteers who are excited to grow.

Burnout is real. That Thanksgiving so many years ago started me on a journey of understanding calling, burnout, and my mission better. I want to offer you two options to help you on your own journey:

  1. Read Burnout by Brad Hambrick. This short book is one of the few books in my life I’ve read more than once.
  2. Discover Your Why (or re-define your why) through a 30-minute FREE recorded webinar. It will be a great way to kick off the new year and light your candle for the mission(s) you love.

In the meantime, who is on your team that can lighten the load by growing under your leadership? How will you celebrate the work you do together? Share it on Facebook @HopelesslyHopefulBooks: https://www.facebook.com/HopelesslyHopefulBooks

Photo by Cristian Newman on Unsplash

© 2020, Mollie Bond. All rights reserved. Originally published at www.molliebond.org.

2 comments

  1. It’s hard to say ‘no’ when something is for a good purpose, but I’m learning, if we try to do it all, we can’t do what we’re called to do well, because we become exhausted by all the extra things demanding attention. =)

    Liked by 1 person

  2. That is incredibly thoughtful and spot on, Jen! I think we can all remember those moments of exhaustion, even by the “extra” things that postpone us from doing the “great” things well.

    Like

Leave a Reply to jennifermzeiger Cancel reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s