“Burnout—the mental and physical exhaustion you experience when the demands of your work consistently exceed the amount of energy you have available—has been called the epidemic of the modern workplace” (Harvard Business Review). Wherever you work—or study or volunteer—you may have felt this extreme exhaustion. It’s difficult to find motivation when you are depleted physically and mentally. And this kind of fatigue wears on your soul.
So how do you find rejuvenation when you have nothing left to give? Remember your spiritual center. Your inner light can power your mind and body through any hard task. There is powerful, spiritual strength found within you.
But, what does this look like? Let’s talk about ways you can tap into this strength and fight the feeling of burnout.
We live in a world of instant gratification and a feeling of urgency to complete all the tasks. This creates a heaviness and unnecessary pressure that we put on ourselves, trying to please everyone around us.
Take a moment and breathe.
Fill your lungs. Then slowly exhale. And let go of this expectation. Recognize that whatever is crowding your mind and causing anxiety can wait. Set boundaries with those around you and clear, realistic goals for yourself. You don’t have to totally complete that to-do list today. Give yourself permission to wait until tomorrow. Stop trying to be Superman.
Burnout is often a result of wanting to power through something difficult and neglecting self-care. But the best way to find answers to your problem or solve the task at hand is to pause. A great way to find regular rejuvenation throughout your day is to take breaks. Regular breaks, especially those that sneak in spiritual practice, will help you approach your task with fresh eyes and new energy.
In these moments of rejuvenation, your mind and body and spirit will feel refreshed. You’ll gain greater perspective and refueled energy if you break for a moment in your busy day. Skylight has several 3-5 minute spiritual exercises that will help you return to your work feeling renewed and ready to rock the rest of your day!
Control What You Can
Burnout brings feelings of frustration and moments that feel like life is spinning out of control. So, let’s take simple steps to gain some of that control back. Prioritize the tasks and people and projects that need your time. And then share this list with your higher power. Ask God to give you strength and motivation to complete the most important things.
Another simple step you can take is to put your phone away when you are done with work. The constant notifications will break down your soul, which is trying to power you through your day. But there is a time for work. And there is a time for play. That’s why “‘work-life balance’ has yet to lose its buzz in the last few years,” according to Forbes Magazine. You have control over this balance. Put away that phone and enjoy freedom from burnout.
You can also control how you treat your mind, body, and soul during this time of exhaustion. Take that power nap. Get outside and feel the sunshine. And make sure you are nourishing your spiritual core as well. You are in charge of powering this inner light—and you won’t want to miss out on the benefits! There is a greater sense of calm, inner strength, and guidance from your intuition as you nourish your soul. So take five minutes to meditate. And open up your favorite inspirational book. Find the spiritual practice that is best for you. And make sure you prioritize it.
Reach Out When Burnt Out
You may reach the point when you need help from an actual human and not just your higher power. That’s great. Because your soul craves a connection with other people. Serving others—as well as giving the opportunity to serve—breathes life into a spirit.
In a podcast with Brene Brown, Emily and Amelia Nagoski spoke about this important principle: “The cure for burnout isn’t and can’t be self-care. It has to be all of us caring for each other.” Too often, we think burnout will go away with a massage at the spa or reading a book in the sunshine. Although self-care is important, it’s not always the answer. There comes a point when you need something deeper: connection.
So find your person. Discover your spiritual support team. Be vulnerable and open your heart and spirit when you’ve reached your breaking point. We are all here on this Earth to help each other. Don’t suffer through this burnout alone.
Burnout is real and raw. It’s a normal part of life, but one we don’t share on social media or talk about enough. Join us in changing this social norm. And know that Skylight is here to help you. Fight the feeling of burnout with our daily spiritual exercises and enjoy a life filled with new energy and strength.