A Holiday BURNOUT Warning Sign

by Joan C Webb on November 17, 2011

Joan looking and dangling feet in water websize Trip day to Sedona Oak Creek 6-5-11 151We’re headed into the annual season of holiday joy and OVERWHELM. Reminds me of a comment I heard:

“My doctor says I must take a day off each week to rest. He says that if I don’t, I’ll almost certainly experience total physical and emotional exhaustion,” sshared a talented youth worker friend of mine. “But I don’t see how I can manage that. I just don’t have time to take off.”

Perhaps you identify with this caring and overworked professional. (Maybe you’re a tired mommy, wife, volunteer, nurse, pastor, CEO, employee, care-giver, writer, speaker, all around loving person!) Many of us believe that we don’t have time to rest and relax. One of the burnout warning signs is the attitude that “I’ve got to keep going. I can’t stop now. I’m on a roll. I can do it. I don’t need to rest. I can make it through.” But if you and I do not pace ourselves; if we do not stop to rest, eventually we will burnout. The risk is great.

God rested after he completed the seventh day of creation. (Genesis 2:2-3) He rested not because he was tired, but to set an example for us. Stopping to rest is acceptable with God. It does not make us any less valuable or worthwhile to admit that we need to cease working and creating to rest. God loves us when we work, when we rest, and when we play.

What would “rest” look and be like to you? I’m asking myself this question. (And in fact, I’m planning a get-away vacation with my husband in December. I just may stop to dangle my feet in the water again like I did last June in Oak Creek in Sedona. Ahhh.) How would you answer this question for yourself?


{ 4 comments… read them below or add one }

Pam C in Canada November 17, 2011 at 9:32 pm

Good timing Joan! I can see myself going crazy the next few weeks before Christmas, just trying to get everything done….I like to do handmade stuff for the kids, and last year it wasn’t so bad since I started in March. This year, I’m starting in November (the 13th, in fact).

Rest would look like…..I don’t know. Maybe just hiding away for a few days somewhere, with no one around, a few books, a few movies, some music, a few crafts and some tea. Have fun on your get-away with your husband! (and can I say I’m slightly jealous? lol)

Joan C Webb November 18, 2011 at 12:42 am

Pam, planning a get-away personal retreat sounds like a great idea. What resources would you need in order to do that?
While you’re working on planning that :-) during this busy season, perhaps you could take a couple mini-retreats (see a movie, listen to some music while sipping tea for 30 minutes or so.) What do you think?
Have fun expressing your creativity with your “handmade stuff”. Maybe you could even reduce your “shoulds” for this task? Don’t shoot me. It’s just a thought!!

Pam C in Canada November 25, 2011 at 10:41 am

I have a hard time “relaxing” when I know I have things to get done…I always feel like I need to be doing something. So if I’m watching a movie, I have to be crocheting or embroidering or *something* lol. I have tried, but I can’t just sit & not do anything….Oh well.

I’m hoping that my week off between Christmas & New Years will be more relaxing & enjoyable….not busy doing a million things for everyone else. We can hope right!? Thanks Joan :) .

Joan C. Webb November 30, 2011 at 4:03 pm

Hi Pam! Yes, we can hope. AND we can plan, too. What’s your plan to make this week be more relaxing and enjoyable? What would be fun for you?

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