Are you feeling the pressure yet?
You know, that feeling like you can’t breath and you’re just about ready to pull your hair out?
Christmas is only a few days from now. It’s the most wonderful time of the year... and there is so much out here to keep you busy. Are you baking Christmas cookies? Still decorating? Last minute panic shopping? Keeping all the plates spinning while trying to create special memories for your family?
I’ve been hearing from so many how they have both ends of the candle burning. So many have asked me how to keep from burning out.
My sweet sister, Doris Cush said it like this in her recent workshop on How To Thrive: one way is to remember. My greatest advice to keep you feeling warm and fuzzy is to keep your old memories alive! You need to focus on the good things from the past as well as creating new memories now.
My husband has been playing all the Christmas oldies. I love the feeling it creates. It reminds me of my childhood. Of Christmases long ago and Christmases with my husband as newlyweds. As my children were decorating the Christmas tree, each ornament they took out was special for us, representing their childhood Christmas memories.
Guess what? You can enjoy the holiday. I promise you. There are practical ways.
Staying grateful for what you have and the memories of special occasions can help fight the need to perform.
Burnout comes from trying to meet as many needs as possible over a long period of time. It comes from not taking time to simply be. Sit and enjoy some moments. Stop everything. Play some carols, light your candles, sip something hot in front of the tree after the kids are in bed.
So as I think about the answer to the question asked about burnout and how to avoid it, my answer is simply, “I have learned that I can’t do it all.”
There it is.
We all want to be Wonder Woman and we want to make sure everything is done from the cooking to gift-wrapping to decorating, etc. The problem is: we can’t do it all. God never bestowed upon us the ability to draw on human strength alone. The key is to decide what are non-negotiable priorities and what you can leave off.
Looking at some of the reasons burnout is so common, one that comes to mind is we place heavy expectations on ourselves. You don’t need to do it all yourself! In our family, my husband shops for every single gift and does the wrapping. He knows I hate it. Sorry, not sorry. I’m the chef. The kids are the decorators. It works for us.
I used to try to be Pinterest Perfect. I stopped because I could never achieve those beautiful picture perfect homes, nor do I really want to. So, now I rest in the fact that I want to foster special moments that my children will remember and as they have their own families one day, they may speak of these memories to their children.
So friend, if you are weary, I feel you.
As my husband was playing Nat King Cole’s Christmas album, this line caught my attention: “A thrill of hope, the weary world rejoices”.
We sang O Holy Night in church on Sunday and it was glorious. Everyone was singing out, hands raised in praise. It was probably the last in-person gathering we will have until after the New Year because lockdowns are abounding again with the rise in cases. But I lay hold of this Hope: “For yonder breaks, a new and glorious morn...Fall on your knees”.
It’s the conclusion I come to time and again for any feelings of fatigue, overwhelm, burnout, listlessness, etc. I fall on my knees and worship just as the shepherds did before a manger thousands of years ago. It’s where I go to recharge just like Jesus Himself did. He showed us by example how He would pull away from the crowds and disciples to get alone with the Father to pray.
How about you? Let's fall on our knees and allow God to restore hope to your weary soul.