Volunteering your time to different ministries can be a great thing, allowing you to expand your spiritual horizons by immersing yourself in God’s work. Getting involved in your faith community can help you to become a stronger Christian, know God’s love, spread God’s word, and establish a support system.
However, if you start to feel overwhelmed by your spiritual activities and obligations, you could be at risk of experiencing spiritual burnout.
Spiritual burnout is similar to other types of burnout which typically makes you feel physically worn out or emotionally numb. Spiritually, burnout symptoms include depression, stress, sleeplessness, becoming judgemental, spiritual disconnection, or spiritual doubt. You may wish to isolate yourself from your faith community, or lack the energy and motivation needed to continue your spiritual work. In extreme cases, you may even feel like abandoning your belief system.
As a believer, you need time to grow familiar with your own spiritual journey, but focusing all your time and energy to help others can lead to burnout. Volunteering all your time can prove burdensome when you do not leave time to focus on your own needs. You will often put too much pressure on yourself to achieve perfection and be overly concerned with others expectations.
Relax – now that you know the symptoms and potential causes of spiritual burnout, you can learn how to deal with the condition. You can use spiritual burnout to learn about yourself and grow in your faith.
Start with prevention techniques to catch spiritual burnout before it starts. Allow yourself to have hobbies you can do on your own time to renew your mind, such as gardening or painting. Recognize your time limits and share responsibilities for tasks that need to be accomplished with others.
If you feel you are experiencing spiritual burnout, try to re-evaluate your spiritual life. Cut out draining relationships and find activities that energize you. Maybe give up a ministry or two to give yourself some “you” time. Focus on prayer and avoid comparing yourself to other believers. Mostof all, trust that God will lead you back to your work when you are ready.
Spiritual Care Support Ministries, offers faith-based education, training, counseling, and spiritual support for individuals and families struggling with loss and pain.