Burn Out

I’m sure you’ve been there before.  That feeling that you just don’t want to do that thing you’re supposed to do…that thing you have to do.  You sit down to the computer and stare at the blank Word document.  You know that paper won’t write itself, but your mind is blank, and your body is tired.  Your stamina wanes.  There’s a deadline looming, but hardly makes a dent in that feeling of apathy.

This is me at this moment.  4 1/2 weeks left until graduation, and I’m just…done.  Now, before you think I’m just seeking attention or fishing for encouragement, stop.  Just stop.  I write because God puts things on my heart – perhaps so that I can more fully process whats going on in my life, or maybe (and this is my hope) so that someone else may benefit from my experiences.  Anyways.

This evening, I sat down to work on my TPA – that big, crazy paper I have to write to graduate.  You know.  Thankfully, there are prompts, so I’m not just pulling stuff out of thin air.  But the prompts are wordy and complicated.  And my brain feels tired and foggy.  And I just don’t even want to try to clear the fog.  My motivation is tanked (well, at least for tonight).  Yet, I have no choice.  I have to write this paper.  I have to go to school tomorrow and teach the kiddos.  So what do I do with this?  How do I manage it?

First, I change my perspective.  Instead of saying that “I have to go to school tomorrow,” I need to think more like “I get to go to school tomorrow”.  I’ll admit, though…it’s hard to think of the TPA as a privilege.

But more important than changing my perspective, I’ll go to God – to His word.

So maybe this discipline isn’t “painful”, but the point remains.  When we experience things that are challenging or painful or ___________,it’s not pleasant.  But YES, we will grow through the experience if we allow ourselves to do so.

And the second promise I’m clinging to right now:

No, I’m not “suffering”, but I do believe that my challenges in student teaching will bring about good and growth in me.

So I’m probably done working on my TPA for tonight.  But there is tomorrow.  And the day after, and so on.  I’ll reach down deep inside and find some motivation – or make some.  And it’s gonna be okay 🙂

I hope you’ve found some encouragement in these words.

And if you’re like me, dealing with burnout, how do you motivate yourself?




4 thoughts on “Burn Out

  1. We all experience burn out–exhaustion–lack of passion. And I think you have given a good way to combat that–being able to recognize when you are burned out is key to approaching and dealing with it. Its a discipline to recognize when to persevere and when to concede at the time. That requires wisdom.

    More importantly–it’s those moments when we are exhausted, when we are spent, that our God comes forward to lift us up and make His mighty work in us known and full of His glory.

    It’s easy to know this, and harder yet at times to hold too. I sometimes deal with burnout by examining which part of the process I’m Byrne out with and attempt to refocus on the part that doesn’t. It’s not always an option, but it’s something I certainly look for.

  2. Dear Treasure of my heart, having spent my full share of time in an academic environment I totally understand what you are feeling. One can feel this way on the job, at church, in a ministry you love, in a hobby that you have done for years! Hang in there, sweetie, and keep trusting the Lord. What works for me is to have a little bit of time off and then to just do it – throw myself into it wholeheartedly. Remember the footprints in the sand – in the toughest times that is when God is carrying you.

    Love you so much, Mom

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