by Susan Miller
As a leader of an After the Boxes Are Unpacked study group that is offered twice every year, I often feel stretched thin with the lack of normalcy in my life. Trying to work around COVID restrictions in the classroom, or balance online facilitating with schedules and time changes, can be overwhelming.
Quite frankly, between you and me, I find myself weary and worn out trying to balance family and ministry needs along with the needs of the women in my study group. I have learned over the years that I will get tired in ministry, but need to take care of myself, know my limits, and keep balance in my life so I will not get tired of ministry. You and I certainly need to avoid burnout! Let me share with you some things we both need to be reminded of when we are on overload.
The higher the stress, the higher the need for self-care.
Balance your diet nutritionally, and eat on a regular schedule. Rest is more than a good night’s sleep, so step away from your calendar, build in time to relax and do something fun and frivolous. Exercise by simply taking a walk or a bike ride if you can’t workout at a gym. It will do wonders to revive your body and spirit. Of course you know all these basics for self-care, but here are some other important principles to avoid burnout.
Make it a priority to abide in God, His word, and in prayer.
This is a must for me. Every time I get weary or worn-out I know I have to stop, regroup, and spend time with God to center my life. Serving others comes out of fullness not emptiness. We cannot pour from an empty vessel. When you feel like you’re running on empty, run to God.
Know your limitations.
Here are some examples of what you cannot do:
- Solve a person’s problems, only God can
- Let everyone else fill your calendar
- Make everyone happy
- Change the other person
- Cure everyone’s hurts
- Be everything to everyone
- And you cannot do everything all by yourself. Delegate by asking others to help.
Set some boundaries and some margins in your life.
Being in control rather than being controlled by circumstances is a true measure of self-care. Everyone is limited by energy, resources, money, time, and ability. Define what others can expect from you. Giving yourself margin is giving yourself breathing room and time out for you.
Have a friend, or friends who you can share life with, and who will listen to you and pray for you.
All of us need to feel cared for, especially in leadership. That’s not being selfish, but a part of self-care.
Oh, how I hope these few simple things will renew your strength and refresh your spirit! If you are struggling with a particular area of leadership, or need specific prayer, please contact me, JoAnn, or Paulette. We are here to come alongside you. You are not alone on this journey as a leader.
Come to Me, all who are weary and heavy-laden, and I will give you rest.” Matthew 11:28a
From my heart to yours,