What to do when you’re burnt out is a very difficult obstacle to overcome. Dealing with the overwhelm of day-to-day chaos is something we all struggle with. It doesn’t matter if your single, married, married with children, a single parent, or a retiree. Occasionally (or regularly for some of us) you will find yourself so busy and have so much information hitting you that you will be tempted to just give up on the extras you are trying to make time for.
Extras can include eating healthy, exercising, budgeting, side hustles, bible studies, prayer time, and soooooo many others. Basically anything that takes some of your valuable time that you could cut out without actual death. Which is the point that our hectic schedules make us feel like we reach far to often.
When I reach that point of burnout I am just beginning to discover that it always seems to stem from one reason…
I have stopped relying on God’s strength and started relying on my own. I have tried to take something (health, finances, work, relationships, etc) onto my own shoulders.
Basically it goes like this:
Me: Hmmm, I’m doing pretty good at this. Think I’ll try to do “this and that” to make it better. Plus that over there is looking a little off, should probably change it up a little.
God: Please don’t touch that. Got a plan going there that you’ll regret interfering with later on.
Me: Ahhh, don’t worry Big Man. I’ve Got This! It’s no big deal, not life and death or anything!
God: Ugh, here we go again. Don’t say I didn’t warn you!
Me: I’m Exhausted! I don’t have the time to do this anymore! People just need to give me a break. I can’t do EVERYTHING! How did this even explode?!? Who do I look like Super Man!
God: Really need me to say it …
Me: … yeah, I guess so …
God: You are not strong enough to handle all this. I AM. Just give it back to me, it’s mine anyway you know. I’ll take care of it. Just let me.
Me: I’m so sorry. I was a moron … again. Thank you. Please take it back.
God: No worries. I got your back.
The truth is that I am not strong enough to take care of all the stuff in my life. Honestly, I’m not even strong enough to take care of even a small piece of it! My guess is that if you’re reading this is that you are realizing that as well.
Total Wusses Unite!
The good news is that we’re not supposed to. God wants us to rely on him for everything! Every little and big piece of our lives. When we do that we begin living out of his strength and not our own. And he is WAY stronger than us. Like incomprehensibly stronger. He’s got this. Like, really really really got this.
We just have to let it go. Which isn’t easy. It’s something I have to remind myself to do about every day in one area or another. Multiple times a day if I’m honest. I’m just a work in progress.
But I have a plan! A formula, if you will for when I start to feel the overwhelm and that will stop it in it’s tracks before burnout sets in. It is as follows:
- Step 1: Stop moving (literally if possible), close my eyes (if possible), and take a moment to quite my mind, remember to breathe deeply.
- Step 2: Pray to God something like the following, “I give up God. Literally, I give up X to you right now. I am too weak to handle this and I’m sorry I even tried. This situation is yours and only you are big enough to carry it. It is yours. Take it from me now and help me have the wisdom to leave it in your hands. Thank you for being my stronghold and my friend, for carrying my burdens, and for waking me up this morning saved and in you. I thank you Lord”
- Step 3: If possible make a nice cup of tea, makes everything better, and meditate on something positive God has done or is doing now. You could also read some scripture or listen to music that calms or uplifts you.
This is my formula for what to do when you’re burnt out. Feel free to use it or create your own. Either way I challenge you to literally create a plan of action. Have something set in place that you can go to without thinking when you are under stress and feel the overwhelm clouding overhead. Then, just like any other emergency plan … practice it! Do it over and over until your first response in a time of stress is to turn to God. I am taking up this challenge with you! Join me and let’s see what happens!
Bonus: some scriptures I love for step 3
From the end of the earth I will cry to You, When my heart is overwhelmed; Lead me to the rock that is higher than I. Psalm 61:2
Have you not known? Have you not heard? The LORD is the everlasting God, the Creator of the ends of the earth. He does not faint or grow weary; his understanding is unsearchable. Isaiah 40:28
But they who wait for the LORD shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings like eagles; they shall run and not be weary; they shall walk and not faint. Isaiah 40:31
Commit your way to the LORD; trust in him, and he will act. Psalm 37:5
Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. Ephesians 6:10
“Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.” Matthew 6: 34
“Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothes? Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they? Can any one of you by worrying add a single hour to your life?” Matthew 6: 25-27
“‘Because he loves me,’ says the Lord, ‘I will rescue him;
I will protect him, for he acknowledges my name.
He will call on me, and I will answer him;
I will be with him in trouble,
I will deliver him and honor him.
With long life I will satisfy him
and show him my salvation.’” Psalm 91: 14-16
“For I am the Lord your God who takes hold of your right hand and says to you, Do not fear; I will help you.” Isaiah 41: 13
But Jesus beheld them, and said unto them, With men this is impossible; but with God all things are possible. Matthew 19:26