Recently, we talked about 11 signs you might be burning out.
Unfortunately, as you know, it's not enough to simply recognize you're burning out. Instead, you have to proactively deal with burnout both while you're at work and when you're at home. With that in mind, here are 8 strategies for coping with burnout when you're at home.
1. Spend time with your family – whether that be your parents, siblings, spouse, or kids. Although it's hard to admit, far too often, our families come in second place to our ministries. Especially during those times when we're nearing burnout, that realization often prompts immense guilt. So take time to reexamine your priorities. Let your family take precedence over your ministry. If you have to disappoint someone, choose to disappoint your church rather than your family.
2. Stop multi-tasking and trying to do it all at once. When you're at home, be home. Regardless of whether you're married or single or whether or not you have kids, don't let your ministry be all-consuming. Take time for yourself, your family, and your other interests.
3. Spend time with friends who don't go to your church. As youth workers, it can be SO easy to end up with friends exclusively connected to our church. While I'll be the first to admit that some of my best friends have come from my church, I also know how dangerous that can be. When your friends are all connected to your church, more often than not, the conversation eventually turns to church. And as much as you love church, you need a break from it. You just do. You need to hang out with people who know how to talk about other things – politics, sports, normal jobs, families, pets, and hobbies. Doing so keeps you human. What's more, if all of your friends are from your church, what happens during times of conflict or burnout? Who can you vent to? Who can you bare your soul to? Having friends not connected in anyway to your congregation gives you a safe place in which to be honest about your faith, vulnerable about your emotional state, and loved and cared for anyway.