This post is written by contributing writer, Kimberly from Corner of Birch and Divine.
I’ve experienced it before. So have you. It’s that feeling of of floundering and gasping for air in a sea of priorities and obligations. It’s that sensation of reaching out and gripping something solid to hold onto while life rushes at you and passes you by in an instant. It’s that heat rising in your chest as you gag back the desire to throw your head back and scream “ENOUGH!” at the sky.
I’m happy to say I’m not there yet. But I’ve been around the block a few times, and I know all the warning signs of impending burnout. Perhaps you’ve experienced some of these, or are experiencing them right now:
- Feeling exhausted, no matter how much sleep you get
- Activities that were usually fun are now less appealing
- Feelings of irritability or of being overwhelmed when asked to do even the easiest task
- Lack of patience where you had it before
- Feeling like you forgot to do something or be somewhere when you have a few minutes to rest or relax
I’m disappointed to confess that my husband and I, despite our previous experiences with burnout, are starting to notice the above symptoms in ourselves and each other (again). We were surprised by this, because everything on our calendar is there because it’s something (or someone) we love or are passionate about. But unfortunately, the old adage is true – sometimes there really can be too much of a good thing.
So we decided it was time for a more in-depth look at the way we structure our lives. What are our priorities? Where do we spend most of our time? What does an ideal week or an ideal month look like to us? How can we organize our time in a way that prevents burnout, but doesn’t force us to give up the things we love?
In order to truly step back and assess our lifestyle, we are doing something drastic – we are taking the month of August hostage. All of our usual activities will stop, with the exception of duties that can’t take a month off (our jobs, for example). With our calendar clear, uncluttered, and under our command, we will take some time to do the following:
- Make some lists: 1) Activities that must stay on the calendar, 2) activities that can be changed or lessened to remain on the calendar, and 3) activities that can be permanently removed from the calendar
- Focus on the big things – determining our top priorities will help us make the above lists
- Take a close look at our budget to ensure that our activities aren’t costing us more money than we realize
- Tackle the many projects that never get done, despite our efforts to squeeze them in here and there
- Go on a date or two… or maybe three, or four
- Pray about where the Lord would have us spend our time, not where we would have us spend our time
The most important thing we’ll be doing during this month is devoting more time to God. Of everything in all of our lives, He is truly the only thing that is necessary. If we can use a full month to develop better, healthier habits, these habits are more likely to become a natural part of our life. So the biggest item to tackle in August will be figuring out how to make the Lord the top priority of each and every day – and how to make that habit stick.
Are you feeling burned out? If so, won’t you try this too? I challenge you to take one whole month to reassess, re-evaluate, and rest in the Lord. Let us know how it goes!
This post contains affiliate links. See our disclosure policy here.