How to Treat Burnout

A Way Out

Burnout can impact anyone at anytime. If you suffer from burnout, you can get better—you won’t be stuck scraping the bottom of the barrel forever. In this post, produced in cooperation with the Association of Biblical Counselors, professor, pastor, and author Dr. David Murray encourages those with burnout toward practical steps to recovery.

David is professor of Old Testament and Practical Theology at Puritan Reformed Theological Seminary and pastor of the Free Reformed Church in Grand Rapids, Michigan and the author of several books including Christians Get Depressed Too

When David counsels someone with burnout, he treats the whole person. The symptoms of burnout vary, so the treatment must vary from person to person. David looks at a person’s sleep, past, rest, eating habits, habits, and sense of identity to help them heal from burnout. 

Why do you think it’s important to treat the whole person when it comes to burnout? What benefits do you see to David’s approach?
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If you’re in a time of burnout, what can you look back on as the source of your extreme exhaustion? What events, thoughts, or relationships do you think contribute to your current emotional state? If you’re not burned out, how have you seen past experiences influence you or someone else to the point of burnout?
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David emphasized the importance of rest and relaxation. How do you set aside time for rest during the week? What activities relax you as you go about your day?
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Physical exercise and healthy eating also help people suffering burnout. How do you incorporate exercise or physical labor in your daily schedule? Would you describe your diet as healthy? Why or why not?
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David ended by encouraging those with burnout to rebuild their spiritual lives. How would you describe your spiritual life? In what areas do you see room for growth?
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How could you take practical steps toward health this week? Which areas David touched on do you need to work on the most? How could you move forward in those areas this week?
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Burnout doesn’t have to be debilitating. You can move forward from extreme exhaustion and heal. Find someone to talk about your burnout this week or encourage someone you know who’s burned out. Pull from David’s advice to take practical steps toward physical, emotional, spiritual, relational, and mental health. 

You can find more on approval from Ed in the course Avoid the Flames.

To learn more about The Association of Biblical Counselors, click here.