“And he said to them, “Come away by yourselves to a desolate place and rest a while.” For many were coming and going, and they had no leisure even to eat.” Mark 6:31 (ESV)
At one point or another, you’ve probably experienced some kind of burnout. That’s when your life looks good on the outside, but you wake up every day tired and overwhelmed. You know it’s an issue, but you don’t know what to do about it. Is there more you can do, beyond just getting more sleep? How do you find a deeper sense of restoration, so you don’t walk around every day in “functional” burnout?
As Christian entrepreneurs, it’s helpful to be reminded that we can avoid burnout by staying in tune with God’s specific direction for our lives. That means we consult Him about our schedules, we learn to depend on His strength to carry out our duties and we take time to care for ourselves. In fact, one major area of self-care that comes up regularly in our weekly Born To Fly “Pit Stop” meetings is getting more rest.
When we get to the point where we feel the need to prioritize rest, the assumption is often that we just need more sleep, however, according to Dr. Saundra Dalton-Smith, sleep is just one kind of rest. There are actually 7 Types of Rest to help us feel restored and recharged: Social, Emotional, Mental, Spiritual, Creative, Physical and Sensory.
Dr. Saudra says that each “rest deficit” creates “suffering” in a key related area of our lives and we must be intentional in identifying the area that needs more rest in order to reap the most benefit from our rest strategy. For example, a Social rest deficit will affect relationships; a Mental rest deficit will affect work; a Creative rest deficit will affect innovation, and so on.
Even as we apply this useful practical advice, it’s important to remember that we ultimately recover from burnout by entering God’s rest. We don’t draw our identity from the tasks we accomplish but from our relationship with Jesus. We do the work He calls us to with all our hearts, but we’re careful not to go beyond the limits He has set. We accept help from others because God has called us to community. We accept His rest because it is the gracious gift of a wise and loving Father.
At the end of the day, we can rest in the knowledge that God cares more about our relationship with Him than He does about the work we do.
Tracy & Team Born to Fly