10 Resolutions to Save You From Burnout

by Alex Hawke
Posted on 1st January 2021

The past 9 months have ramped up the stress levels for many of us. Caring for ourselves can seem selfish but if we don’t then we can’t sustainably serve those around us and we’re at serious risk of burnout. I learned the value of the following resolutions the hard way a few years ago. It looked like I had it all together but I didn’t. I burned out and I don’t want the same to happen to you.

Self-care should in no way negate Jesus’ call to self-denial nor be an excuse not to work hard, rather it helps maintain our resilience and perseverance in the midst of the challenges of serving others. It’s not just a means to an end though; God simply loves us and our well-being matters to Him. So, here are 10 resolutions to help us stay well and stay faithful plus some suggested verses to meditate on:

  1. I am a child of God. I am unconditionally loved. My identity does not lie in my achievements. I will rest in God’s love and not strive for other’s approval. (1 John 3:1, John 1:12, Romans 8:15-16)
  2. I am sent by God. God doesn’t make mistakes. My life has purpose. I will trust Him when I’m not sure what’s going on. (John 20:21, Romans 8:28, Ephesians 2:8-10)
  3. I don’t have to hold it all together; that’s Jesus’ job. It’s OK to not always feel OK. I will get help for my spiritual, emotional and practical needs. (Colossians 1:17, 1 Corinthians 1:26-29, 1 Samuel 23:15-16)
  4. Rest is good. Jesus rested. I have permission to rest. In fact God commands me to rest. I will plan to rest. (Matthew 11:28-30, John 4:6, Exodus 20:8-11)
  5. I was made to enjoy a relationship with God. I will daily spend time reading the Bible, worshipping, praying and whatever else helps me to connect with God. (Psalm 63:1-8, John 15:1-8, James 4:8a)
  6. I am also made for relationships with other people. I will intentionally invest in friendships, be honest and give and receive support in my church, small group or team. (Proverbs 27:9, 27:17, 1 Corinthians 12:12-20)
  7. Prayer support is vital. I will regularly share prayer requests with my friends and small group. (2 Corinthians 1:8-11, Colossians 4:2-4, Ephesians 6:19-20)
  8. My body is a gift from God and useful for the work He’s called me to do. I will look after my body by exercising regularly, eating well and sleeping enough. (1 Corinthians 6:19-20, Proverbs 14:30, 3 John 1:2)
  9. I am allowed to enjoy life. I will regularly engage in activities which I enjoy. (Proverbs 17:22, John 2:1-2, Nehemiah 8:10)
  10. There are always reasons to give thanks. I will reject the temptation to grumble and give thanks instead. (1Thessalonians 5:18, Psalm 118:28-29, Philippians 4:6)

A bonus one: Jesus was led by His Father and did not try to please everyone. I will not try to please everybody by saying yes to everything. (John 5:19, John 6:15, Galatians 1:10)

I’ve realised that living well has both internal and external aspects. It‘s not only about exercising, having some hobbies and taking breaks. We need to know our true identity in Christ and rest in God’s love. Christians recognize that ultimately God is our source of life, hope, strength, wisdom, purpose, joy and peace. He is our ‘Master Carer’ and our connection with Him is vital for ourselves and those we’re serving. The following quote is over my desk as a daily reminder:

No amount of activity in the King’s service will make up for neglect of the King himself. The devil is not greatly concerned about getting between us and work; his great concern is getting between us and God. Many a Christian worker has buried his spirituality in the grave of his activity. Duncan Campbell (during the Hebrides Revival) 

Alex Hawke is a Country Team Leader with Interserve in South East Asia where he serves with his wife Ellie and their two sons.