Last week, we talked about 11 signs you might be burning out.
Unfortunately, it's not enough to simply recognize you're burning out. Instead, you have to proactively deal with burnout. Next week, we'll explore strategies for coping with burnout that you can do at home. For today, though, here are nine ways you can cope with burnout while you're at work.
1. Go back to good old fashioned contact work. The biggest sources of frustration for most youth workers are their colleagues and churches – not the teens they actually work with. So when tension starts to mount and signs of burnout appear, instead of sitting in your office stewing, meet a student for coffee or ice cream and connect with them. Talk about life and about Jesus and allow God to remind you why you got into youth ministry in the first place.
2. Know what breathes life back into you and what doesn't. What parts of ministry energize you? What parts of ministry deplete you? If you can't readily identify these things, take time to figure out your answers to these questions. Each day, do at least one life-giving part of your job.
3. Delegate. Once you know what energizes and depletes you, start delegating. Find people who are gifted in areas you aren't. Ask them to do the tasks that deplete you in order to get them off your plate. Not only will doing so give you some breathing room, but it will also give others the opportunity to serve out of their giftedness.
4. Disable your wifi. As we talked about last week, one of the signs of burnout is spending way too much time surfing the internet. So, take that temptation away. Turn off your e-mail and your push notifications. Better yet, when you're at work, disconnect from your wifi. Instead of going online throughout the day, look at and deal with social media (including e-mail) only during designated times like when you first start working, return from lunch, or right before you leave for the day.