Growing up in a Christ-centered family, I have always been taught to have a servant's heart. God loves to see you give to friends, family, and the community around you. Serving and loving others is something that Christians are called to do. However, sometimes, we tend to get caught up with just going through the motions, and we forget about replenishing ourselves when we need it.
You see, I love organization. I have always enjoyed using planners to make sure I am getting all of my school work done on time and going to all the meetings and activities that are required of me. However, when I think of planners, I have always thought about them in "professional" settings or major events. I don't normally plan when I am going to take a nap or play my guitar in my planner. I just do those things when I have the time.
However, as humans, we tend to stay very busy with work, school, and different activities. We make a checklist for the day and as we go through it, we check off each one and move on to the next. Once we finish the checklist, the day is normally almost over. We take care of a few things and then go to bed, to do it all over again. It's easy for us to get burned out when we are living busy lives, am I right?
For me, I have three different types of burnouts. The first one is when I am physically burned out. This is when my body is completely exhausted and all I want to do is sleep. The second one is when I am emotionally burned out. This is basically when I just cry for quite some time, watch a movie, and just eat a bunch of ice cream. The last burnout I have is the one that is always hard for me to notice: being mentally burned out. This is when I physically can still go exercise, stay on top of things, and emotionally, I'm not crying a bunch. But, my energy to think and process things is very low. I get easily irritable and have a hard time letting my stress and emotions out. I feel off, but always have a hard time figuring out exactly what is wrong with me.
I was talking to one of my friends lately and telling her, I keep feeling so off and just in a funk about things. She asked me "well when is the last time you read some scripture or spent some time with God?" I said, "I mean I went to church Sunday. I've been reading my bible at bible study, and I read it for another study I'm doing with my friend. So I've been reading a bit lately, but still, I feel off." Then she said, "But Claire, when was the last time you read some scripture for yourself? Not for church, or a bible study, or for anyone else, just for you?" This was when I realized that I've been giving so much energy and time to other things, but I haven't been giving that same energy or time to myself.
Picture yourself as a water bottle. When a water bottle is full of water, it's hard to crush it and make it tensed up. It's just a normal water bottle. Now, every time you do something that requires a lot of energy out of you, you lose water. This can be going to classes/doing homework, listening or giving advice to a friend in need, serving in your community, going to work, etc. As you go through different activities on your checklist, you are losing water. When you start running out of the water, the bottle gets easier to crush up and make it tensed. Eventually, you run out of the water. The water bottle is completely empty and it can be crushed up pretty easily. This is what happens when you are mentally burned out. You have been losing all this water and as you kept going, it was easier to make you irritable and stressed out about stuff.
It's super good to be focused on giving to others. It's great to have a servant's heart, but you have to remember to give some self-care time to yourself.
Write it in your planner.
Turn your phone off.
Go on a walk.
Read a good book.
Do something just for yourself.