This weekend found me utterly exhausted and quite a bit overwhelmed.
The week had been full with moving my blog to a new location and completely redesigning it, sick children, a broken toilet, a going away party for some sweet friends, a bridal shower, and a birthday party.
Too many late nights, not enough sleep, and stress had taken their toll and I could feel burnout approaching.
I was on day four of a very bad headache, and I just felt like collapsing in a heap on the bed and sleeping for a few days.
I needed some time to be refreshed and renew my spirit.
I spent Sunday afternoon at home alone. And as an introvert, that was just what I needed.
After church, my husband took the kids over to my mom’s house to help her with the garden and other outdoor tasks, and that left me with blissful peace and silence.
I didn’t listen to music or get on the computer.
Oh, and chocolate. I shouldn’t have, but in the course of the afternoon I ate this whole bar of Lily’s chocolate. It was so delicious! 🙂
The windows were open to the spring breeze that gently blew the lace curtains in my bedroom. The only sound was the birds chattering to each other outside the window.
Just those few hours alone, with time to think and plan, gave me the renewed perspective and encouragement I needed to keep going.
Even though this will be another unusually busy week (with two out-of-town trips scheduled), I feel rested and refreshed, thanks to the time I had to think, pray, read, and plan on Sunday.
7 Steps for Avoiding Burnout
Avoiding burnout can be a real struggle in our fast-paced modern lives. Here are the things I have found helpful when I feel the weight of stress and overwhelming busyness beginning to overtake me.
- Prayer, Bible reading, and meditation. This is my number one weapon against burnout and depression. Of course I still struggle against depression at times (especially since the death of my father in February, I’ve had to fight against getting lost in a sea of sadness and darkness of soul), but when I go to God in prayer and in His Word, I’m helped tremendously.
- Time away from the computer and phone. Sometimes you just have to get away from these things in order to feel completely rested. The online world never sleeps, and it can exhaust you if you never get away from all of the information overload and the never-ending conversation.
- Get more rest. During times of busyness and stress, I’m often getting less sleep than I need. (And that was definitely the case last week.) During stressful times our bodies actually need more, not less rest! So catching up on my sleep was definitely key to restoring a feeling of peace.
- Read encouraging books. Time spent reading often renews my vision and encourages my spirit.
- Schedule in some down time at home. For me, non-stop activity and busyness gets overwhelming and discouraging. If I have a few days where I don’t have anywhere to go, this helps me refocus and rest.
- Reevaluate routines and schedules. Sometimes lack of planning and organization can cause more stress.
- Spend time in nature. Taking a walk or just opening a window and letting nature in can be calming and comforting.
Thankfully, last night I enjoyed eight hours of restful sleep, and I feel so much better today! Do you have any additional tips for avoiding burnout?