YOUNG PEOPLE ASK
How Can I Prevent Burnout?
Are you a potential victim of burnout? If so, this article can help you!
Why it happens
Overload. “In all areas of life,” says a young woman named Julie, “we are told to keep doing better, to keep improving ourselves, to keep setting higher goals and achieving better results. Being under this constant pressure is difficult!”
Technology. With smartphones, tablets, and other devices, we are “on” and available nearly 24/7—a fact that can make us stressed-out and, over time, burned-out.
Lack of sleep. “Between school, work, and recreation, many young people wake up early and stay up late, caught in a vicious circle,” says a young woman named Miranda. That pattern often leads to burnout.
Why it matters
The Bible praises industriousness. (Proverbs 6:6-8; Romans 12:11) But it does not endorse working to the extent that everything else in life suffers—including your health.
“At one point, I realized that I hadn’t eaten for an entire day because I was so focused on the many responsibilities I had taken on. I learned that it’s not good to be too eager to accept every assignment—not at the expense of my well-being.”—Ashley.
For good reason, the Bible says: “A live dog is better off than a dead lion.” (Ecclesiastes 9:4) Pushing yourself might make you think you have lionlike strength—at least for a while. But burning yourself out can have devastating consequences to your health.
What you can do
Learn to say no. The Bible says: “Wisdom is with the modest ones.” (Proverbs 11:2) Modest people know their limitations and don’t take on more than they can handle.
“A prime candidate for burnout is someone who can’t say no, someone who tries to take on every task that is offered to him. That isn’t being modest. And sooner or later, it leads to burnout.”—Jordan.
Get sufficient rest. The Bible says: “Better is a handful of rest than two handfuls of hard work and chasing after the wind.” (Ecclesiastes 4:6) Sleep has been called “food for the brain,” but most teenagers aren’t getting the eight to ten hours per night that they need.
“When my schedule was at its craziest, I had the tendency not to get enough sleep. But sometimes that extra hour of sleep is just what I need for increased productivity and happiness the next day.”—Brooklyn.
Get organized. The Bible says: “The plans of the diligent surely lead to success.” (Proverbs 21:5) Learning to manage your time and activity level is a skill that will serve you well all through your life.
“Much self-imposed stress can be avoided by using a planner. When your schedule is laid out in front of you, it’s easier to identify where you can make adjustments to help you avoid burnout.”—Vanessa.