It happens to the best of us. At some point, you realize that you don’t like your ministry.
It’s not a long-term thought. It’s more of a fleeting and passing thought that this ministry you once loved is getting on your nerves. If nothing changes, as time progresses, you start to think about moving into another ministry or job and finding yourself really unhappy.
You are experiencing burn out.
Fortunately, there are many warning signs that burn out is ensuing. Here are 7 signs that you may be heading towards burn out. If you recognize these signs, it’s time to make a change to avoid the negative experience of burn out.
- You worked 7 days in a row. I don’t care what anyone says, this is not healthy. Weekends are often a part of the job. Determine to have 2 days off each week. The day can vary, but try to pick the same day each week. When you are forced to work on your day off, pick another day in the week to take off. That means no meetings, no emails, no phone calls, and no prep work. A day off means doing nothing for your ministry.
- You forget to eat meals. I really like food. I’m so shocked when I hear about people forgetting to eat. When you forget to eat, that means you are too busy. Sure, missing a meal here or there because you are enthralled in your work is one thing. Missing meals constantly is a bad sign.
- You constantly work 12-hour days. I’ve been known to put in 12-hour days from time to time. Usually, it is before a big event or retreat. But this is a rare thing. If you find yourself putting in a 12-hour day more than once or twice a month, it is time to examine your workload or schedule.
- You haven’t taken a real vacation in a year. I’ll be honest, I have a lot of vacation time stored up. This is not a good thing. That means I haven’t taken extensive time off in awhile. I need it not only to relax, but to stay connected with my family. You get vacation time for a reason. Use it.
- You become impatient at even the smallest annoyances. I’m pretty patient, most of the time. Yet, there are times I find myself so annoyed by the little things that happen. All that means is that I need to take it easy. It’s time to use some of that vacation.
- You begin to avoid people. Ministry is about people. There will always be people that I enjoy spending time with and those that I find I have to muster up the best attitude I have to be with them. When I am getting close to burn out, I find myself not wanting to spend time with people. I sometimes confine myself to my desk and hope no one comes and talks to me.
- You keep getting sick. I’m not someone who gets sick very often. When I do get sick, it is usually during a busy time. If I have too many busy and stressful times in my ministry year, I tend to get sick more. My body is telling me to slow down and get some rest.
Burn out is obviously something that needs to be avoided. It is also something that can sneak up on me. I need to pay attention to these warning signs to avoid trouble.
Question: What are the other warning signs that burn out is ensuing?