Recognizing and resolving issues that contribute to burnout
It is a common saying that the two things you can count on in life are death and taxes. While that might be true, there is another thing lurking in the background of the lives of more and more people every day: BURNOUT. With all of the overstimulation a technology-based society produces, we are set up for burnout. With what seem like ever-increasing job demands, we are set up for burnout. Personal communications are instant, always available and on multiple platforms, and we feel we need to respond instantly as well. This sets us up for – you guessed it – burnout. This is just what applies to us - the average, "go to work and make a living" person. Medical professionals, first responders, military men and women – all set up for this scary precedent! This is serious. What can we as Christians do to recognize, respond to and relieve this dangerous pattern in our lives and the lives of others?
Looking at the medical field
To be able to overcome burnout, you first need to understand it. Looking at the medical field, we find detailed explanations of how it works. We also find lots of practical experience. It turns out, the people who help us understand it are also the ones who suffer greatly from burnout themselves. As part of our journey to crack the burnout code, we interviewed a Christian medical professional who has suffered from it. Hannah’s story set a foundation of experience for us, upon which we could build practical knowledge.
Health care industry - everyday burnout - spiritual burnout
We chose to observe burnout as affecting three different categories of people. First are the health care professionals, first responders and military personnel. These are the men and women on the front lines, who have the lives of others in their hands. Their burnout is associated with always needing to do the right thing in very imperfect circumstances, and often with less than adequate support. Second, there are the rest of us who find burnout as a result of our jobs, our lives, disease, trauma and unforeseen circumstances. The third category we labeled as spiritual burnout, meaning feeling isolated and far from God as you strive to serve Him.
Looking to Job for answers
The good news is that the same basic principles of burnout recovery apply to each of these three specific categories. To illustrate this, we used the example of Job, the Bible character who tragically lost everything. He burned out but in the end remained faithful to God. How did that happen? Where did he go wrong and what did he do right?
Check out our March 9, 2020 podcast, “How Do I Avoid Burnout? (Part 1)” for more. Between Hannah’s medical and Christian insights and Job’s tragic losses and unhelpful “comforters,” we find many points of reference to build upon. The bottom line is: walking the path towards burnout is a pressure-filled journey that pulls us away from our best selves. Walking away from it is possible but challenging. In Part 1 of our two-part series, we help you discover how to succeed. Don’t miss this vital input to prepare you for Part II!
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