Are you burnt out? Here’s one way to slow down.

12:53 pm Unknown 0 Comments

The running club, I'm a member of, has a chant that the pacemaker sings when the group he's leading needs to slow down. It goes:

Easy. Easy. Ea-Zee. 

We sing this as we run and slow our pace down so we don’t burn out too early and fail to finish the race. 

For the last couple of months, I've been following a half marathon running plan. The run today was set at a comfortable pace. It was slow enough that I could walk some of the distance if I wanted and still finish. It was a recovery run because I've been doing some long, fast distances.

Slowing down isn't easy for me.

I kept finding myself running at too fast today, running at race pace when I should be going slow.

Easy. Easy. Ea-Zee. 

I'd tell myself this. Hearing my running club in my head, slowing down the rhythm of my feet. 

As I caught myself running too fast, I thought about how it’s not only in running that I don’t give myself permission to slow down.

My personality is prone to burnout – I’m an INFJ-T in case you're wondering – and I just burnt out at my last job

I’m not a doctor or medical professional, but here are a few signs that you might be burnt out or heading towards burnout:
- Lack of interest and motivation in things you used to enjoy
- General feeling of exhaustion or being completely spent (could be mental, emotional or physical)
- Feeling like what you’re doing doesn’t matter anymore
- Increased illness due to a weakened immune system
- Depression, anxiety or anger

Burnout is a state of chronic stress. If you are experiencing some of these symptoms (there are more listed here) it should be a wake-up call that something needs to change. Burnout doesn’t go way on its own, you have to change something to get better.

Lately, I've been trying to take the time to recover from burnout. It's tough because my inclination is to run to the next thing. To look for clients and work to fill the financial and time gap my job left.

I find I need to remind myself, over-and-over,
Easy. Easy. Ea-Zee. 

Give myself permission to slow down, to let my burdens be light.

I don't know about you, but too often I'm trying to prove something: that I can run fast, work well, look holy, and I fail to hear Jesus' invitation to run life at his pace: 
Easy. Easy. Ea-Zee. 

I don't know what caused your burnout but I know Jesus never meant for you to carry "hard" on your own. 

Jesus is there like the pacemaker of the running club. He can't force you to slow down but he can guide your pace and ease your burdens.

So next time you’re going too fast, slow down long enough to hear Jesus’ saying, “Are you tired? Worn out? Burned out on religion? Come to me. Get away with me and you’ll recover your life. I’ll show you how to take a real rest. Walk with me and work with me—watch how I do it. Learn the unforced rhythms of grace. I won’t lay anything heavy or ill-fitting on you. Keep company with me and you’ll learn to live freely and lightly.” (Matthew 11:30 – MSG)

Ponder: What changes do you need to make in your life to stop being burnt out?

Prayer: God, I'm tired and worn out. I need you to me here because I'm too burnt out to go to you. Give me the time I need to take a real rest. Open my eyes to the opportunities to slow down that you give me. Show me the changes, big and small that I need to make to recover. Walk with me and teach me when I need to take it easy, easy, ea-zee. Thank you that I as I let you shoulder the hard things you will teach me how to live freely and lightly. Amen. 

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