Photo by Rockin’ Rob
Are you feeling overcome by the stresses of life? Do you feel like you are about to burn out? Tired of people, ministry, even life? Do you have a hard time getting up in the morning? If any of these make you stop and think, you may be well on your way to feeling burned out. Burnout occurs more often than one might expect with stress being the main cause. You are not alone though; here are some statistics and facts relating to stress and burnout in America.
- One-third of Americans feel they are living with extreme stress.
- About half of Americans (48%) feel that their stress has increased over the past five years.
- Money and work are the leading causes of stress (mentioned by three quarters of Americans).
- Clergy, Pastors and Religious workers lead some of the most stressful lives, along with doctors and lawyers.
- Stress has been directly linked to disease and death.
- Stress can have huge effects on physical and mental health.
Source: American Psychological Association study, 2007. www.helpguide.com
Now you might be feeling even more stressed, but don’t worry, the point of all this is to help you realize and recognize and then remove the stress in your life and prevent burnout.
Now, what are some of the reasons for feeling burned out? Well, there could be a number of reasons why you are feeling depressed, tired and stressed or maybe just one or two. It is important to identify them, and then to try to start cutting back or avoiding those things that cause burnout in your life. Read the following to learn what the 7 major burnout signs are and if you notice them in your life.
The 7 major signs of Burnout:
- Constantly busy with “Important” things that cause you to feel overwhelmed. This could be due to an inability to say no to things, or simply a difficult and demanding job.
- Feeling tired or constantly staying up late at night and not getting enough sleep. People might tell you that you look tired or you often fall asleep in meetings or church.
- Reacting negatively to people or getting angry over little things. This doesn’t mean just getting angry with close friends and family, it also means you ignore or respond harshly to people you normally have to work hard at being nice to.
- A sense of being spiritually drained or uninterested in the Bible and church. You might find yourself being distracted at church or simply wondering why you bother going.
- Spiritual stagnation, no motivation to grow in your relationship with God.
- Neglecting personal needs and those of your family. You might feel that you are already spending all of your energy on ministry or other ‘good’ things and when you come home you have nothing left and you just want to sit and be left alone or do whatever you want to do.
- Work or ministry has become monotonous and you feel no enjoyment in what you do. This could be from working in the wrong kind of job.
Do you see these signs in your own life? Even small parts of these signs could be an indicator that you might be getting burned out from your ministry or job. And when you get burned out, your effectiveness in your job or ministry drops to near zero.
Now that you know what signs of burnout might be in your life, its time to look into what the ramifications of burnout are. Read the next article called Ramifications of Burnout to learn what happens when you get stressed, depressed, and burned out.
It is important to note that stress at times in some small amounts can be good. It can help motivate, and encourage you to get things done. But it is easy to go from a reasonable amount of stress to way to much, stress in your life. It can sometimes be hard to tell when you have a reasonable amount and when you are overloaded but if you notice any of the signs, it probably means you have to much stress in your life.
Burnout on the other hand, is not something you want any amount of in your life. It is important to realize the difference now so that you can deal with it and recover as soon as possible.