4 Practical Tips
How to Avoid Burnout
This season of life is filled with dramatic and very real challenges — in our local communities and throughout the world. Making these simple and intentional shifts to my daily life has been incredibly helpful.
Before we jump into tips on avoiding burnout, if you are experiencing signs of depression, panic attacks, or any other symptoms, please see your doctor. If you have medical issues, you must get checked, so you can get the support and care you need.
Change Is Hard
Changing even some of your behaviors is not easy! Whenever I’m trying to develop a new habit, I like to remind myself of the following:
- It takes 30 days to drop an old habit and insert a new one. After 30 days, the new behaviors become much more manageable. I used to tell my kids, “I never promised you a rose garden!”
- Self-control is mentioned in the Bible and listed among the fruit of God’s Spirit in Galatians 5:23. (For me, it is a big challenge.)
- The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results. (It’s time to do something new!)
4 Practical Ways to Improve Your Life
The following four habits are ones that I’ve personally used and benefited from. I’ve found that the more I practice them, the more routine they become.
1. Think About Good Things
How about this piece of advice from the apostle Paul.
Brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things.
Whatever you pay attention to will affect you. If you follow this advice, it will change your outlook. The old saying, “Garbage in. Garbage out,” makes perfect sense. Try to do the following:
- Turn off the TV
- Filter social media for yourself and your kids
- Read good books
- Spend time with good people
Walking is pretty simple advice that many people are beginning to understand. It has many positive results. You do not have to be an athlete to benefit from a stroll around the block. I had to force myself to do this for many of the first 30 days, but I enjoyed it more and more as I progressed.
Kathleen and our dog got into it also. So think about getting a walking partner. Many times Kathleen helps me get off my butt and get going. As we have continued, we have started to go a bit faster and a lot longer. We have conversations with people we see on our walk. We sleep better, and the dog is calmer.
Oh...and get a good pair of walking shoes. Your feet will thank you.
My doctor gave me two books on some of the research that is helping me refocus on something I had never really given much thought to — breathing. After all, breathing is automatic.
We don’t have to think about it to do it. I have started to get educated to improve my health and mental outlook through breathing practices. This practice is relatively easy to begin, and for me and others I have recommended this to, it seems to get results quickly.
Here are two books that are interesting and informative. I do not think you will be sorry if you create some new breathing habits.
- BREATH: The New Science of a Lost Art by James Nestor
- The Breathing Cure: Develop New Habits for a Healthier, Happier, and Longer Life by Patrick McKeown
By the way, breathing right helps you sleep better. And sleep is a big deal in moving toward health and more energy.
4. Be Quiet
Being calm and quiet is easy for some people but not for me. We have diagnosed a new common problem in our modern world. TMI, i.e., TO MUCH INFORMATION. TV, social media, conversations, and music overload our brains. We get burned out from trying to sort it all through and figure out what is true.
It is not simple to be quiet. I don’t believe calm is emptying your mind of all thoughts. Focusing on one simple thing that feeds your spirit and mind with good things is a beautiful experience.
Sometimes I find it sitting in my chair in my office. Another way to find peace for me is fly fishing. I am out in God’s world and focused entirely on the art of fly fishing. I come home very refreshed and ready for the challenges of the day.
Prepare yourself for new habits. I hope you are looking for positive changes in your life. Make it happen!