Stress and Burnout: Strategies for Coping

What can we do when stress and burnout is knocking at our door? How do we turn down the heat or open the release valve? Maintaining a healthy perspective is key. We need to see that life is bigger than the situations we find ourselves in. Remember that God is completely aware of your situation and is ready to help you with the stress you are under. But, God also wants us to learn to take responsibility for ourselves. We must work together in dealing with stress and burnout.

At the same time, it is important to recognize that healthy responses are subjective – what works for you may not work for me. We need to find our unique ways of dealing with stress and know when things are starting to get stressful for us.

Here are some thoughts on dealing with stress:

  • Care for ourselves through exercise, nutrition, sleep, and having a respectful image ourselves.
  • Have fun through relaxing, laughter, creative expression, and doing things you enjoy and are good at. (Though we all have responsibilities to do what we do not like. It is when these things are more prevalent than the things we like to do that we get in trouble.)
  • Seek support from people who care about you. Be willing to receive it. Talking regularly with a counsellor, pastor, or mentor will be of great help in bringing balance to your life.
  • Create healthy boundaries by leaving stress at the office/school. Work at having a balanced, holistic life, which may mean some external environmental changes. Examine the internal expectations that may be driving you to do what you do.
  • Let go – don’t do for others what they can do for themselves. Galatians 6:2,5 says we are to "carry each others burdens" and "carry our own loads". The burden is helping and sharing – not doing for. The load is handling our own responsibilities.
  • Develop healthy self-esteem by encouraging a positive attitude (e.g. self-confidence, hope) and setting realistic goals for yourself. Use the wisdom Christ gives you, recognize your own limitations, prioritize and say "No" more often. Get your worth from God, not your achievements.
  • Look at your personal perspective on your life. Have realistic views of self and the problem. Live one day at a time. Do what you can to deal with the stress. Examine different alternatives and possible solutions and try one. Search for and remember God’s view of you and the situation (Phil 4:8, 13, 19).
     

Remember, it is your stress. No one can deal with it for you; it is your choice. But other people can certainly help you through your stress.

If you would like to talk to a counsellor about how you can deal with stress and burnout, click here and someone will gladly schedule an appointment for you.

To look at where stress and burnout come from, click here.