How to Avoid Emotional Exhaustion in Ministry

Do you ever feel emotionally exhausted?  So emotionally zapped that you feel like quitting?  So emotionally exhausted that you have nothing left to give?  So tired that you don't care what happens.

You are not alone.  We all feel that way at times.  The list of needs gets so large that it overwhelms us.

Call it what you will...exhaustion...burn is not a place you want to be.

Believe me...I know...a few years ago, I became so emotionally exhausted that I slipped into depression.  It got to the point where I thought I would have to walk away from ministry.  Thankfully with the help of God, family, friends and an excellent doctor, I was able to get back to an emotionally healthy place.

How does emotional exhaustion happen?  Most often it happens because of prolonged periods of stress.  After prolonged stress, your body gets to the point where it says "we're not doing this anymore!"

Can you relate with what I'm saying?  Are you at the end of your rope?  Ready to quit?  Tired beyond words?

Don't give up.  Help is on the way.  Keep reading and let's talk about how to avoid becoming emotionally exhausted.
Identify what's causing the exhaustion. 
You have to face it and acknowledge it before you can overcome it.  What is causing you the most stress?  Write it down.  If it's several things, then write them down in the order they stress you.  Now write down some ways you can stop or lessen those high stress points.

Put a boundary around how long you're going to work.  Put a boundary around your day off.  Put a boundary around your vacation time.  Put a boundary around the time you spend with your family. 

Care for yourself each day. 
Read your Bible and spend time with God each day.  Get 8 hours of sleep.  Eat healthy.  Exercise.  Take breaks at work and rest yourself.

Surround yourself with the right people.  
Make sure the people closest to you are positive people.  People that will fill you up rather than constantly drain you. 

Realize that you are not alone.
First and foremost, your Heavenly Father is with you.  Next make a short list of people that you can depend on.  You can also enlist a person you trust to be your mentor. 
Remember Elijah?  He had a great victory over Jezebel and her prophets.  He should have been throwing a big celebration.  But no, we find him cowered down in a mountainside.  Saying he is the only one serving God.  Saying he wants to die.  

As part of the coaching program I offer (click for more information), I ask each person this question.

Can you go the distance at your current pace?

What would your answer to this question be?   
Please, please, please....take care of yourself.  Get to a place where you can enjoy the ministry you serve in.,,,keep a smile on your are a difference maker!