Life is full of challenges and struggles, but do you know how to handle burnout and keep the peace, passion, and adventure in your life?
Have you ever worked so hard or been so stressed that you burnt yourself out? Maybe you know how that feels. When every little thing causes stress. You’re always getting frustrated at your husband and kids. You feel like there are 100lb weights strapped to your feet and no matter how hard you try your thoughts come out in a jumbled mess.
This is burnout.
All the fire, all the fuel, all that is inspiring and stirs passion in your heart, has been burnt up and there’s nothing left to keep you going.
Whether you’ve gone through this or not, you may be on the path to burnout. It’s not a fun place to be and I believe you were never meant go there, so we’re going to talk about 7 steps for how to handle burnout and keep you from ever going there again!
1. Identify Stress
Burnout happens because there is too much stress in someone’s life. Physical, emotional, spiritual, financial, and relational stress all add up! It drains you and will eventually choke out all your passion and inspiration if it’s not dealt with. That’s why the first thing you need to do is to identify which part of your life is the MOST stressful.
Is it your relationship with your husband? Your kids? Do you have health issues? Is it the finances? Figuring out what stresses you most will give you the starting point to find where your burnout is coming from.
2. Find the Root
Second, you need to find out why the stress is there. These roots could be very deep, trust me. Ask yourself, “Why am I feeling stressed right now? What is the emotion behind the stress response? When is the first time I felt this way? Who was there that first time?”
When you ask yourself these questions you may be surprised at what you find. All stress stems from an emotional root and the root may go back years and years, even to your childhood. If that emotion, which in this case usually comes from pain, hasn’t been dealt with, then the fruit is still showing in your life today, a.k.a. stress. So ask these questions and think back to that first pain, the first time that emotional response came into your life and write it down.
3. Loosen the Soil/Forgive
Thirdly, once the emotional root of the stress has been found it’s time to “loosen up the soil” so we can pull out those roots and stop this stress from growing in your life and leading to burnout, or causing further burnout.
When we’re talking about roots, we’re talking about the emotions from which our stress grows. When we’re talking about soil, we’re talking about your heart, the place your emotions come from. So basically, to “loosen your soil” you need to loosen, or soften, your heart.
This can be challenging. It can be scary. It can be very humbling. And if you want to learn how to handle burnout, and more importantly, to overcome it and keep it from ever happening in your life, you’ll need to learn how to soften your heart and pull out these bad roots.
I know you want to live above the stress you feel. I know you want to learn how to handle burnout. You want to be able to freely love your husband, to honour and serve him. I know you want to be able to have more fun with your kids and to laugh freely again. You want to clear out the clutter in your mind and live effectively again, and most importantly to rise above all the stress and conquer all the challenges standing in the way of your freedom. The key is to soften your heart.
You can do this.
All it takes is forgiveness. That person, back in your past, who hurt you, needs to be forgiven.
I know you may be thinking that this is impossible, like, “How could I ever forgive what that person did to me?” But I know you want to be free from your stress and free from your pain. These roots will suck the life out of you if you hold onto the pain and allow it to keep growing.
So release that pain. Release that person. Release is what forgiveness truly is.
This is step 3:
Imagine that person is standing in front of you and literally tell them you forgive them. Tell them how you felt, how you interpreted the situation, and then forgive them. Say it out loud. Release them. Give up the judgement you’ve had and simply release them. Then turn around and bless them!
That may be the hardest part but it’s integral in how to handle burnout. It’s the only way to loosen the soil of your heart and to be able to pull out those roots that are choking you.
4. Kill the Bad Roots
The fourth step is to kill the bad roots. Once you’ve exposed them it’s not that hard. All you need to do is renounce the beliefs that you’ve had based on the pain you’ve experienced. Make a list on paper and go through each one, exposing each lie and renouncing it, crossing them off as you go.
Again, say this out loud. Let yourself hear it. When you speak something out loud you make it more real. It becomes sound waves: a physical presence in the world. So renounce all those lies you’ve believed from the pain.
5. Plant Good Seeds
Step 5 is to plant good seed. If your stress grew out of emotional roots, then perhaps your peace and joy can also grow out of emotional roots. The difference is where the root comes from. The stress grew from pain. Your peace and joy will grow from love.
Whatever the negative beliefs and the lies you just renounced were, replace them with a positive truth and belief. Plant a good seed and a good tree will grow! Again, speak these things out loud! Make them REAL. If the lie was, “I’m always ruining everything!” then the truth, the good seed, could be, “I am a blessing to my family!”
When a bad root is pulled out, a new good seed must be planted in it’s place.
6. Protect the Good
After all the hard work we’ve done it’s time to protect. These positive seeds and sprouts of love and hope are pretty small and if we’re not careful we may stomp on them, or they may be choked out by weeds. The stress, the pain, and the negativity will always try to creep in again and choke out your hope. So you must protect it.
This means that every day you need to keep speaking positive things over yourself. Every day you need to renounce the lies and have truth and encouragement poured into you. In other words, pull the weeds and water the seeds.
Look for places you can get encouragement and inspiration, whether it’s listening to some kind of speaker or teacher, reading a book, a blog, joining a local mom’s group, a book club, or an online community. Do something that feeds your soul! You need positive input to be poured into you every day to keep those good seeds growing.
One of my favourite things to do is that while I’m cleaning the kitchen, making food, or washing dishes I’ll listen to messages, inspirational talks, or educational audios. It’s a really easy way to be fed, inspired, and encouraged.
7. Never Give Up!
If you’ve gotten this far, don’t stop now. Never. Give. Up. As I said before, negativity will always try to creep in and choke your hope and inspiration. The pain deep in your heart will try to grow, and as the roots grow deeper the fruit will show itself. But when you see that fruit, don’t be discouraged! Instead be encouraged! Because now you can find the roots and get rid of that pain in your heart.
The key for how to handle burnout is to never give up. And not only for how to handle burnout, but how to keep it from ever happening in your life.
Remember, burnout is when the fire of life fades to embers and dies. No new wood is put on the fire. All the fuel, all that is inspiring, is burnt up and there’s nothing left to keep you going.
That is why we MUST tear out the bad roots, the pain, and the stress that is choking us, or we WILL get burnt out. So don’t give up!
You Biggest Asset for How to Handle Burnout
To quickly recap what’s been said here I’ll say this: how to handle burnout is simple, but it’s not always easy. You have to take a step back and face your greatest opponent: yourself. But I know you’re dedicated to being the best you can be and living a full, meaningful, and purposeful life, so I know you can do it!
With that said it’s time to reveal the final clue, the last piece of the puzzle, the secret weapon for how to handle burnout, and more importantly to overcome it.
You can’t do it alone.
Our hearts are wickedly deceptive and on our own we will continue to fall into negativity and stress. Luckily, we don’t have to do it alone.
God, your God, the Creator of the heavens and the Earth is ready and willing to help. He is a healer, He is a lover, and He is our Defender. When you call on Him for help and pour out your broken heart to Him, He will hear, and He will give you His strength.
Your Heavenly Father is your biggest asset for how to handle burnout and He is the ONLY one who can truly take away your stresses and pain. And guess what, He wants to!
Call on Him and He will rescue you.
How to Handle Burnout:
- Ask God for help.
- Identify your stressers.
- Find the emotional root.
- Loosen up the soil and forgive. Release.
- Kill the bad roots.
- Plant new good seeds.
- Protect the good.
- NEVER GIVE UP!
When you start feeling the stress overwhelm you, if you feel like you want to hide from your responsibilities and just curl up in bed, cover your head, and block out the world; if frustration is the common thread of all your relationships and you’re always on the verge of tears or flat out rage; when there’s no more creativity, inspiration, or joy, it’s time to step back and face the stress.
Clear your schedule. Cut out the extra activities that are stealing your time and busying you and take a moment to quiet yourself before God, identify your stresses, find those roots, forgive and pull them out, and then plant truth into yourself.
If you do this you will not only know how to handle burnout, but how to overcome it and keep it from ever happening in your life again.
That is freedom.
Live free and God bless.
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