You’ve heard the word “burnout” a million times. The strange thing is, millions of people every year are in the middle of burnout—and don’t even realize it. Burnout is a prolonged season of exhaustion and disinterest that results in a decline in performance. It’s when the demands being placed on you are greater than the resources you have to deal with them. It’s chronic stress, and that’s not good. Here’s a quick burnout test to see if you might be in the middle of this (and find out what you can do about it).
Take This Burnout Test
- Are you exhausted? This isn’t just tired at the end of a long day. This is nearly perpetual zero-energy status.
- Are you increasingly negative? You can find something wrong with just about everything—especially your job. Your constant state is frustration, and your temper is shorter than ever.
- Are your passionate interests fading? “Nothing matters, so why try” is your motto. Your job performance is slipping, and even giving the bare minimum seems to be asking a lot.
- Is your health declining? You’ve got a headache or a cold you just can’t shake. You can’t concentrate on anything. Your streak at the gym has come to a screeching halt, and cooking healthy food is too much of a bother. You may even be abusing a substance of some kind to numb yourself.
- Are you withdrawing? You want to be around people less and less, even those you care about most deeply. Social activities sound scary. Even your personal values and beliefs start to lose their importance to you.
If you answered “yes” to three or more of the questions on the burnout test, chances are you’re experiencing burnout—and you shouldn’t wait to take action.
Being in constant motion doesn’t mean that you’re working hard and winning at life. It may just be the exact opposite. Hear this: Living at a constantly exhausting pace is unsustainable. Period. It just is. Something will give, and the worst case is it’s your health in the worst way. You were not created to live this way. God can use stress, busy seasons, and storms to make us better, indeed, but His will is not that we live without real rest and times of refreshing. And the good news is, there’s hope. Here’s how.
- Seek God. We’ve got to return to our source. The Creator of everything created you, too. And He knows how you work best. Take time to listen to what He’s saying. Jesus demonstrated this in His life, taking intentional time to get away from distractions and seek His heavenly Father. Women, here’s a video series you might be interested in. Men, here’s one for you.
- Seek Rest. Actually sleep. Shoot for 7-8 hours. Past that, take a vacation or a staycation. Completely unplug. Put your phone by the door when you get home, and don’t pick it up until you leave the next morning. Your company will survive without you for a week or two (it’s true). You’ve got to take relaxation as seriously as you’ve been taking work, if only for a season. Genesis tells us that God rested after creating, setting for us an example of the natural rhythms our lives should move in. God rested, so shouldn’t you?
- Seek Peace. The world is chaotic—that’s a given. But there are ways to block all of that out and restore an inner, unshakeable peace in all situations. Try meditating on God’s goodness at the beginning of each day, taking account of all of the blessings He’s provided you. Pursue a hobby that brings you joy. It brings you joy for a reason, as those passions help us connect to our Creator and remind us of His nature. Take a walk. Breathe deep. Break the routine. Lastly, get organized. Clearing out the clutter removes so much stress by simplifying what you need to focus on.
- Seek Health. Exercising isn’t just good for burning calories, it also removes stress. Your body is what gets you from A to B, helps you contribute to the world, and helps you care for your loved ones. So take care of yourself!
- Seek Others. We weren’t meant to do life alone. Bringing others into your struggles gives you a support system to encourage you and hold you accountable. Go out with your co-workers after work, join a sports league, be part of a LifeGroup, get plugged into your local church—just be with people. Share your struggles. In the process of seeking help for yourself, you just may help others, too.
You can do it! Be patient and stick with it. Real rest, refreshing, and new fire can be yours again. It may not be easy, but it is so worth it. And our God is with you every step of the way.