It took ugly crying to my Director of Sales over the phone this week to realize that
I. am. burned. out.
I’ve reached the end of my rope emotionally, mentally, physically, and spiritually.
The thing of it is though, I believe the situation I find myself in now is of my own making. Of course external factors contributed to the constant work pressure, anxiety, fear, and worry that is my daily. But I’d have handled the past year and a half better if my overall perception was different. To put it succinctly, “stinking thinking” led me to this arid desert of body, mind, and soul.
This is good because according to Jesus and brain scientist Dr. Caroline Leaf, changing a negative mindset is pretty simple. Which is fantastic news considering a month or even a two week sabbatical are not realistic options. My family’s gotta eat. Leaf argues that we are designed for love and that when negative anxious stressful thoughts are introduced, they actually lead to brain damage. If caught in a pattern of negative thinking we need to pause and re-learn how to “operate in our normal love design” (Switch on Your Brain). This is what Jesus is saying when he calls us to continually “be transformed by the renewing your mind” (Romans 12:2).
For me, this practically looks like 3 things:
I. Practicing self-love at work is vital to my overall health.
I resolve to make peace with what I can’t control in relationship to the current processes and personalities I am called to work with in my current position. I will do my best and will forget the rest and in doing so will abandon the detrimental notion that “it’s all up to me”. I’ll do my part. I’ll do all I can do to stand. The rest I leave up to Jesus, my true advocate. He has better plans for my life than I do and He always has by best interest at the forefront of his will for my life.
II. Prioritizing self-care at work and at home is the exact opposite of acting selfishly.
The Career Contessa puts it perfectly, “professionalize self-care“. In essence this means to set aside time on the calendar, create self-care goals, and write down plans prioritizing pampering. For me this means devoting 15 minutes of the start, middle, and end of my work day to evaluate where my head and heart are at, scheduling long baths after I put the kids to bed, setting aside time to read, and allowing myself the weekly indulgence of a sugar free vanilla latte from Mickey D’s. To each his own.
III. Think good thoughts and EXPECT GOOD things to happen (as opposed to catastrophe)
Keep your thoughts continually fixed on all that is authentic and real, honorable and admirable, beautiful and respectful, pure and holy, merciful and kind (Philippians 4:8, TPT).
Cheers to battling burnout. With the wisdom of heaven on my side, I’m believing remarkable rest is right around the corner.