“I’m so tired. People keep telling me I should slow down. But there's just so much to do, I can’t seem to figure out a way to do it. I forgot another appointment this morning. It’s embarrassing. I just can’t get myself in gear. To tell you the truth, I really don’t care much about the things that I care about anymore.”
These are the words of a person on the burnout fast-track. Yet an admission like this doesn’t only come from the lips of someone who continually stays too long working at the office. Burnout (or compassion fatigue) happens to ministry leaders, conscientious college students, service-related workers, volunteers, caring spouses and parents, as well as executives. Perhaps it’s happening to you or someone you love.
Awareness is an important step out of this joy-robbing dilemma. The following questions can help you assess your situation:Do you sometimes feel a little or a lot depressed?
Are you grouchier than you used to be?
Do you have a tough time relaxing?
Do you hurry even when your circumstances don’t warrant it?
Are you exhausted on a regular basis?
Do you hustle from project to project without taking time to celebrate or enjoy your success?
Are you angry/resentful and can’t figure out why?
Do you spend less time with friends and family—or just having fun?
Do you work harder and longer, but achieve less?
Is life becoming a chore?
If you answered yes to several of these questions in the left column, you may be playing with fire. Yet you can make new choices that will help you recover fun, balance, and energy.
Taking this simple questionnaire and admitting your need to yourself, a safe friend and God is a courageous first step. For greater clarity in your process of recovery from compassion fatigue, watch for next week's blog post “When the Going Gets Tough, the Tough Get Burned Out.”
Have you ever experienced any of the above symptoms of "compassion fatigue"? For an opportunity to WIN an autographed copy of my book, The Relief of Imperfection, please leave a comment (even "I'd like the book!" will do.) on this blog and your name will be entered in the July 26, 2013 drawing.
Writing, teaching, coaching to empower and set free. Joan is an inspirational speaker, Bible teacher, Life Coach, and author of 13 books includingIt's a Wonderful (Imperfect) Life,The Relief of Imperfection,The Intentional Woman. She does consulting, as well as Life Coaching, for writers, speakers, ministry leaders and entrepreneurs. Connect with Joan.