3 Tips To Bounce Back from Burn Out

Margaret —  January 27, 2014 — 34 Comments


Over the last few years I’ve slowly been learning and relearning the power of rest, the gift of the Sabbath. In Wonderstruck, I confessed:

“Most days, I felt like I was running on a fuming treadmill on full incline. Exhausted and burned out, I was running with an empty gas tank and no energy. In embracing the wonder of rest, I’ve learned that freedom isn't found in tossing the treadmill, but in finding a maintainable pace.” –from Wonderstruck: Awaken to the Nearness of God

Over the last few years, I’ve been discovering and rediscovering the wonder of one of God’s most gracious and delicious gifts: rest.

Maybe, like me, you’ve allowed this gift to slip through your fingers like sand. Or maybe, like me, you’ve had rest ripped from your grasp because of the adversity you’re facing.

Whatever the cause, here are 3 things to remember if you’re feeling burned out or just flat tired:

1. Rest isn't a tether. Rest isn’t something holding you back, but a resilient spring propelling you into the fullness of life God intends. Choosing rest will not rob you of life but fill you with more life. [Tweet this]

4 Things to Remember If You’re Feeling Burned Out or Just Flat Tired?

2. Rest is the great trust that God holds everything together. [Tweet this] Rest reminds us that God is in control and gives us the opportunity to hand back over the reigns of life. When we choose rest, we can crawl into bed knowing the world lounges safely in His hands.

4 Things to Remember If You’re Feeling Burned Out or Just Flat Tired?

3. Rest is a doorway to freedom. When we choose to enter God’s rest, we aren’t bound by legalistic rules or regulations but a renewed freedom. The invitation to enter into Sabbath can’t be reduced to what’s done or left undone, but is discovered in breathing in the goodness of God. [Tweet this]

4 Things to Remember If You’re Feeling Burned Out or Just Flat Tired?

This week, carve out time to rest. Partake in something that is life giving for you—that may be taking a cat nap, hiking through a local park, drawing or painting, or reading your Bible. No matter how you choose to celebrate Sabbath, lay hold of the wonder of rest and watch as joy overflows and energy bubbles over.

* Original Photo Source


This week, were giving away 3 copies of Chasing God by Angie Smith. Chasing God by Angie Smith

Angie is the wife of Todd Smith (lead singer of Dove Award winning group Selah), best-selling author of Mended, I Will Carry You, and What Women Fear, and one of the most popular speakers and blog writers in the country. She lives with her husband and daughters in Nashville, Tennessee.

In Chasing God, Angie wonders if your relationship with God looks like hers did-- more like chasing than following. Chasing God leave us wanting, questioning, and exhausted. But Angie shares the three words that turned her faith upside-down and changed everything: Stop chasing God.

Isn't it time you stopped as well?

[RSS Subscribers: View the book trailer by clicking here.]

To win, leave a comment on the original blog post at MargaretFeinberg.com sharing how you celebrate Sabbath. The three winners will be selected and announced on Friday.

How do you celebrate Sabbath each week? How have you seen life become more manageable when you embrace the wonder of rest?

Congratulations to the winners: Lindsey P. Brackett, Shawn Seeds, and Sue



34 responses to 3 Tips To Bounce Back from Burn Out

  1. I celebrate Sabbath by taking care of my body, mind, and soul in life-giving ways. No agenda, just following what I need.

  2. I celebrate Sabbath by intentionally choosing a day of rest each week. It’s usually Saturday because as a minister, Sunday isn’t always very restful! I try to sleep late, choose only activities that will refresh me, and not do meetings. When it works, it really boosts my energy level and puts me in the right frame of mind to begin a new week.

  3. As a Seventh-day Adventist, Sabbath is essential to my faith. However, if I allow it, Sabbath can become just another rule. I have found that Sabbath is not just a day, but a mind-set…a true gift from God to His children. But like any gift, we have to choose to accept it. Only we know what gives us rest. For some, it may be church and then fellowship and food with family and friends. For others, it may be a walk in the woods alone with God and nature. And for still others, it could be running several miles or helping community members in need. The wonder of this gift is the choice in how we use it. The most important part of Sabbath is remembering to accept the gift…to find that God- given way to rest.

  4. Thank you for this reminder to take time to slow down and rest……after being on this journey with Jesus for more than a handful of years, I have increasingly been feeling left behind, and seem to be spinning my wheels trying, trying, trying SO hard to ‘catch up’ with Him….so it’s difficult to rest when feeling like I’m already behind…….

  5. I celebrate the Sabbath my making things. I like to create mixed media art, sew, knit, cook and bake. I also read and nap.

  6. I celebrate Sabbath by reading your blog on Monday (lol!) and drawn ourselves in laughter and love from family and friends. Also learning how to go with the flow. Lately, house bounded by the arctic cold, we enjoy board games and some ridiculous science research. (For example why can’t your bottom whistle but it farts? or Does farting consider as air pollution? etc. You can tell I have some 1st graders in the house.) We awestruck by God’s creation. Coming up will be Birthdays and Chinese New Year. It sounds like a lot of work. However among celebrations, we reflect on how gracious and merciful our God is, to me, my family and my heritage.

  7. Rest is one of many lessons/gifts that I gained from doing the Wonderstruck Bible study. Before I couldn’t rest. I had this misguided notion that rest = laziness/lack of ambition. Thank you once again for enlightening me and reminding me that rest was a gift from God to us.

    Wishing you a blessed week.

  8. I was raised that you didn’t do anything on Sunday’s (I’m 55). So I go to church Sunday morning and Sunday night. In between, I eat and take a long nap. It is truly a day of rest for me. I look forward to Sunday’s for many reasons…God, being fed, and rest.

  9. As a pastor, I take Sabbath on Mondays. I try not to drive anywhere, therefore taking a Sabbath from fuel consumption. I do chores around the house and just relax.

  10. I was drawn to your statement on rest : “Rest reminds us that God is in control and gives us the opportunity to hand back over the reigns of life.” So true – handing back over the “reigns” of life. Our pastor is sharing messages on God’s sovereignty and God’s control in our lives. And my theme verse for the year is Psalm 27:14 “Wait for the Lord; be strong and take heart and wait for the Lord.” I’m trying more intentionally to really take a Sabbath rest on Sunday as well as during the week. Thank you for this post. God keeps showing me verses and messages from others to cement this truth in my life. Thank you.

  11. I am in a season of Sabbath now. It doesn’t mean all rest, but for me it means a conscious letting go of a formal ministry so i can be refilled and can be better prepared for what God has ahead. I’ve been studying rest for more than a year, then God opened my eyes to how tired i was and that i needed to step back before burn out hit. I realized part of the hard part of letting go was what i perceived my work to represent about me! What a dangerous place to be in “ministry” that is supposed to be all about Him!

  12. The year I turned 50 I tried a year of rest and jubilee. Of course I didn’t stop doing everything, but I did try to mentally make that year different than the others.

  13. As a children’s pastor, I find that is almost impossible to put aside a day to rest with no thoughts or tasks that involve my work which for me translates to ministry, childcare needs for our church, etc. What I have found to be most beneficial for my walk with Christ is to have a sabbath every day. A time set aside for quiet reflection, Bible study and prayer and it brings a sense of peace and calm to every day that doesn’t have to wait for one day a week in the future to unwind and fully submit myself to God. I do take one of my off days to do Bible study (we’re about to do Organic God in our women’s study group :)) and spend the day trying not to check emails or phone calls. It hasn’t been 100% yet, but I do like the challenge of trying to totally unplug for one day a week.

  14. I actually wrote about this same topic today and then followed a tweet over to read your take. I’m learning to rest by letting go of the to-do list and embracing that sometimes doing nothing is the greatest accomplishment my kids, husband, and faith need from me.

  15. I feel much the same, as if I am chasing God and He is just out of reach. This book sounds like it may be very helpful to stop chasing and start following.

  16. I really appreciate this post about rest. I have always struggled to let my self stop and not try to fill my days with all of the self imposed tasks I want to do in a day. It took some drastic changes in my life for me to realize the pressure to do everything has been taking a toll on my spiritual life and physical health. It is only by Grace that I am surrendering my thoughts and weaknesses to take time to see what rest really is and work towards that goal. I spend too much time chasing God instead of resting in His presence so I can relate to Angie’s thoughts. Chasing God looks like an inspiring book.

  17. My “official” Sabbath is Sunday – I like to read and nap Sunday afternoons – no agenda. But I also rest whenever I feel my body and/or mind needs I it, because I don’t enjoy burnout. And I want to be ready to be used.

  18. Thank you for this post, Margaret. I’d love to read this book.

  19. Rest on the Sabbath is just taking time for myself and my family. This past week it included naps and reading. It’s staying home and not worrying and fretting about all of the things that *need* to be done and focusing on some of the *wants*. It’s a time of rejuvenation.

  20. I’ve been working to be more intentional about a day of rest each week. I find that I am so much more ready for the next week when I’ve really taken a day to just be with God, be alone, not focus on projects and just allow renewal. Such a gift that we so easily take for granted.

  21. I’m finding I need margin and a sabbath each week. In addition I’m doing one little word and my word is create and I’m learning to not only create art, but create space, create relationship and create time with Him. Thanks Margaret!

  22. I have found that I must find rest to move forward in my relationship with God, my family and friends. It has been hard to learn and God has shown me the importance of rest. I have burned out. I have been beyond exhausted. Now Sunday is my treasure. I don’t run errands. I have a family sit down dinner. I try and get at least 30 minutes outdoors just breathing. I try to keep my schedule for Sundays to be just church and family.

  23. I have been recently laid off so I have had more time to learn the idea of God’s Rest.. I believe he wants me to experience it when I actually have time to rest so I can take his rest with me. I am trying to learn to celebrate the Sabbath at all times.

  24. Beyond taking a weekly Sabbath, I get up early before everyone else and just spend time resting in His Presence.

  25. Why is it so hard for women to take that day of rest? I know myself I tend to feel guilty if I take a day and just do nothing. Why do we feel that we should always be busy? I am learning that God does not want us to do this, that all it does is burn us out. It is a difficult thing to do, but I’m sure trying to do it. Thanks for the reminder!

  26. Previous years I was hearing from God to have “patience”. I pray each morning and try to listen to what God wants me to hear. Several days each week, not just for Sabbath, He asks me to rest. I am learning that rest is much more than taking a nap, or reading a magazine. Rest is about coming near to God. That is my journey this year. I laughed to see that you are giving away copies of “Chasing God”. I have been “chasing” this book, trying to get a free copy from several giveaways or for a review. I haven’t caught it yet, but I keep trying! I think I am beginning to understand how Angie felt chasing God.

  27. Rochelle Southard January 28, 2014 at 7:10 pm

    I spend my Sabbath curled in my lounger with Lucy my beagle reading the Sunday paper

  28. As a Minister’s wife, Sundays are difficult days to find rest. But as a child, we always took naps on Sunday afternoons. It’s a habit I’ve kept since I was little. I may not always sleep, but I take time to “veg out” and relax before returning to serve on Sunday night. I’ve also learned to take some me time to relax when I have a day off.

  29. I’ve really been struggling with burnout lately, so I’d love this book!

  30. Any time that I can divert my mind from ministry just for a moment, and get my hands dirty in the garden, get my house clean with joy as unto the Lord, and enjoy an hour or two of uninterrupted piano playing while singing as loudly as I like, I try and consider that a gift of Sabbath rest. Sometimes I forget that this is what it really is and think I never get any rest…so it’s important for me to stop and realize, this truly is a gift just for me from God.

  31. Chantal Rebecca January 29, 2014 at 8:24 pm

    I’ve been trying to celebrate Sabbath lately by staying away from the computer (especially the Internet) and my personal electronic devices. Most times I get through most of the day without, and then bam, it’s back to the grind Monday morning. Comes way too early in my estimation. What I’m discovering is I need more than anything is quiet, no TV noise, no computer noise, just quiet. So hard though, I would appreciate this book so much.

Leave a Reply

Text formatting is available via select HTML. <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>