Busy With NO Burnout is Worse
Updated: Jan 4, 2020
by: Hannah Dearth
I have heard of and experienced burnout more times than I can count, even if I didn’t know then that that is what I was facing. To me, burnout is being overworked or exhausted from putting too much time or effort into anything. I think you can be burnout on your work both professional and personal, and in your relationships as a parent, spouse, friend etc. I also think you can even become burnout in your faith, at least institutionally in the practice of it.
How can you overwork relationships? How can you overwork the practice of your faith? I would say if you are using an imbalance of your time on these things, pushing your limits, or emotionally spending all of yourself there... that’s exactly what you’re doing. Instead of helping a friend, you’re carrying their problems and trying to fix them. Instead of signing up to help at church or in a new Bible study... you’re stretching yourself so thin that you don’t even have time to make or have dinner with family or friends or get a to-do done without feeling like you are being pushed over the edge. It’s become a thing to complete rather than something relational or something that you love. It isn’t meant to be this way.
Just because you feel that you can do it all doesn’t mean you should.
What is even worse than this, is when we can’t realize that it’s burnout. When we are so used to the drive, the pushing, the adding more and more to our schedule that there’s absolutely no room left... but we think it’s ok. We think we aren’t THAT tired. We can find a bit more time. We can do it all.
This is the wakeup call. You can’t. I can’t. We can’t. Busyness with no burnout is dangerous. There’s often less self-awareness which means less change, less rest, and more of the negative symptoms that come with burnout.
Here’s an unpopular opinion: busyness is self-made. There is always room that can be open on the agenda...leave it open. Open to leave room for rest. Room for time together that is slow and genuine. Room for embracing small moments.
Being exhausted to the point of illness or irritability, never saying no, not having room for what you really care about, that’s burnout. You are just still living in the burnout without recognizing it. I’m telling you now... recognize it. Recognize the control you have over your life to make appropriate change AND the “control” you don’t have to always have over everything.
Say no. Say no to good things to leave room for great things. You make your time. This time culminates the parts of what make your life worth it. Slow down. You make your level of busy. You choose your level of burnout, acknowledged or not.
Rest. Jesus commands us to rest our souls in him. Therapists will tell you find rest for your mind. Your doctor will tell you that you need to rest your body.
Life can be busy. We will always have things we have to do, but we need to figure out what those really are so that we can also fit in the want and need to dos too. Busyness is self-made. What are you going to make with your time?