Avoiding Burnout: Stop Before You Need To

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I spent a good chunk of this last week in St. Louis at the International Christian Retail Show. There, I finally got to see a hard copy of my book, signed about 120 of them at my book signing, shared meals with my family at Abingdon Press, and was interviewed by multiple media representatives. I was photographed for magazines, donned headphones for radio shows, and powdered my nose for TV. It was like nothing I’d ever experienced before, and it was surreal to see my face on ads at my publisher’s booth.

Before we left on our five hour drive across the state to the show, I prayed fervently that God would give me the energy I needed to do this thing, and do it well. The second day of the show was my big day: book signing at 10 and then a marathon of interviews until about 4. After finishing my

final interview for the day, I caught the shuttle back to our hotel, where Adam and Ethan were preparing to leave to see a movie. I needed to give my feet a break, so I collapsed onto the bed and told them to have fun.

I laid there in the silence thinking over some advice I’d received from my last interviewer. “Learn to say no,” he said, as we talked Avoiding Burnout: Stop Before You Need To | sarahkovac.comabout the fact that my book and my baby will be birthed within a month of each other. “You’ll have lots of opportunities. Your publicist is not God, and doesn’t know what’s best for you, so you pray about every invitation, and don’t go unless you hear a ‘yes.'”

I thought about what timely advice this was for me, and how difficult and unnatural (and scary!) it would feel to pass up any opportunities. As I laid there thinking, I considered getting up and journaling about it. Or blogging. Or tidying up the room since the boys were gone. And then I heard it — that familiar whisper:

“Rest. Just be for a while.”

So I calmed my mind and stayed in bed, staring out the window at the St. Louis skyline. And then I woke up.

That’s how abrupt it was. The moment I stilled my mind, I was asleep, and I slept hard for an hour. I am not one to nap, so it surprised me.

I have to chuckle at such an obvious object lesson regarding the very advice I’d been given an hour before. I hadn’t felt tired… in fact I felt energized. I had a million things to do. I wanted to be productive. But I needed to sleep. I could have kept plugging away and I would have been proud of all I’d accomplished in a day, but for the sake of all I’d like to do, sometimes I have to stop doing, and just be.

Quiet your mind and body. Let’s take a moment to be today.

This post is a Saturday Sprint.

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2 thoughts on “Avoiding Burnout: Stop Before You Need To

  1. I had to do that last week…I was traveling to teach at a seminar for work, and it was exhausting. Twelve sessions in two days. In the evenings, instead of trying to do other work or catch up on email or social media, I just shut off and rested. It kept me sane! Good luck to you, and may you have wisdom for both “yes” and “no.”

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