When Sarah Got Her Groove Back (and Signs You May Be Burned-Out)

This picture has nothing to do with the post except that it makes me feel all zesty. The gal in the photo is Mandy from ZealousForHim.com. We were celebrating my husband’s 30th with an 80′s themed party.

I was burned-out.

Blogging was the least appealing thing to me. Eating lot’s of late night snacks and watching movies was entirely enticing (and I indulged). I dragged during the day and vegged out every night. Days weren’t mine and life was dull. Writing was painful. Motivation was nowhere to be found.

This is what happens when you burn-out. You either push yourself harder and then fade into a blur of saddness and abuse (abuse of yourself and your family), or you quit. For awhile. For me, quitting was in order, indefinitely.

Sally told me it would take a month or two to recover from burn-out, and she was right on. I wasn’t sure I’d ever want to write again. I had even convinced myself that I didn’t like writing, and that I had nothing to say.

Boo.

But here I am with this newly lit fire in my spirit for writing, and man, it feels wonderful. And so freeing. This fresh flame was kindled when my husband told me that he wanted to start blogging. He bought a book on blogging, purchased his domain, and is excited to begin putting words into the online space. His zest for this new hobby has rubbed off on me, and it makes me remember what I felt like when I first started blogging. Exhilarated.

I am actually anticipatory for my new found stamina.

Have any of you felt the stale of burn out? Maybe some of you are there now. Here are some signs you might need a break:

Signs You May Be Burned-Out

You Don’t Enjoy Your Hobby Anymore

I used to love blogging and I did it every day just because I enjoyed it so much. After three years, a slew of other doings, and later bedtimes for my babes, my desire to blog went to 0.

You Feel Tired All The Time…And You Don’t Have a Baby

Do you feel like you are dragging most days? Have you lost motivation? Do you wish you could put your life on hold to catch up with it? You might be burned-out.

You Have Nothing To Say

If you’re a writer but you can’t write, you might be burned-out. I could not write for months. Months! I tried and tried but writing was like forcing myself to wash dishes. Blech. I hated it. I hated doing the thing that I used to love. I not only hated it, I felt like I had no words in me. I was empty, and it was an awful feeling. I even convinced myself that I wasn’t really a writer, because writers love to write. Burn-out was lying to me.

You Feel/Are Depressed

Does your life feel like it’s passing without your permission? Do you feel like you’ve lost control of your days? Do you feel like doing nothing but watching Gilmore Girls while eating Caesar salads? Do you even want to go out and live your life, or would you rather stay holed up while you sit on social media sites feeling even worse? Have you lost your innocent joy for the fullness of life and the world?

You, my friend, might be burned-out.

___

If you’ve experienced any of the above, really evaluate where you are in your life and your soul. You might need to give yourself some slack, or maybe even back off completely for a while. The best thing I did was to let myself recover, be lazy, gain weight (okay, this not so enjoyable), and just be in a paused place for a time. I needed to stop. It was wise to quit.

But now? I’m back, baby. I’m back.

How are you doing today, friend?

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  • http://bohemianbowmans.com/ Jessica

    I’m still trying to decide if burn out is a natural part of this trade, that it simply will come and go in it’s seasons – or if there’s a way to protect yourself from it.

    I don’t know. I’m in an inspired season right now, as well. But the burn out? I always fear it’s around the corner.

    • http://twitter.com/sarahmae Sarah Mae

      I know, me too. But if it comes again, I’ll quit again. I have no problem bowing out to my spirit and my family first.

  • Guest

    I think it’s a big part of the natural cycle of creativity. I’ve experienced in every creative venture in my life. The break is your way to fuel up on inspiration! Glad to see you are back! I really enjoy your blog because we get to see you be “real”

  • http://www.blissfulwife.com/ Priscilla Fowler

    I think it’s a big part of the natural cycle of creativity. I’ve experienced in every creative venture in my life. The break is your way to fuel up on inspiration! Glad to see you are back! I really enjoy your blog because we get to see you be “real” and authentic. (forgive me, I may have posted a partial comment earlier)

  • http://www.joyfilleddays.com/ Sarah Beals

    I think motherhood is a full time job in and of itself. Then add homeschooling…and then other obligations. No wonder we are crazy tired. I go in cycles, seasons, myself. Knowing your limits and self awareness helps wonders. And you just KNOW when your soul and spirit are dry. That is the worst feeling, IMHO. The creativity only flows when my body and soul are well. And someone once told me that you are only as “spiritual” as you are rested. :) That was “grace” to my tired mom ears.

    • http://twitter.com/sarahmae Sarah Mae

      That is a great quote!

  • StephanieGlidden

    I have so been there, and it is not a fun place to be! I stopped blogging for a year and then started up a new blog a few months ago. The fire did relight, although I still find I have to rekindle it carefully every now and again with a break. I came back to blogging 3 days a week, and that’s a good fit for me right now. Blessings on your return. I’ve missed reading your insightful words!

  • http://www.servingjoyfully.com/ Crystal

    Okay…I’m glad you threw in that the pic was an 80′s themed party! Because at first I was like “Wow…is this a high school pic?” And then I realized it was recent and like “wow…interesting sense of style!” lol…
    Now I’m off to actually READ the post! :-)

  • http://www.servingjoyfully.com/ Crystal

    I do suffer from depression–real depression, and creative things are always the most affected. I quit blogging for nearly 2 years because of it, and all I can do is pray each day to keep my head above water. I’m glad you’re back. That excitement is a good thing :) (especially with that blogging conference you’re hosting coming up…)

  • http://www.GodCenteredMom.com Heather MacFadyen

    Oh sister. Preach it! Here is something which spoke to my soul:
    “Are you tired? Worn out? Burned out on religion? Come to me. Get away with me and you’ll recover your life. I’ll show you how to take a real rest. Walk with me and work with me—watch how I do it. Learn the unforced rhythms of grace. I won’t lay anything heavy or ill-fitting on you. Keep company with me and you’ll learn to live freely and lightly.” Matthew 11:28-30 (MSG)

    Thankful you are feeling better. Hope you have found some “company with Him”. see ya in a month!

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1316303869 Amy Collins Tilson

    I’ve been so blessed by the honesty of you more “seasoned” bloggers not pushing through for the sake of getting a post up every day. It’s been so freeing to know I can pace myself and not let the blog run my life.

  • TraciMLittle

    Welcome back! Yes, I’ve so been there. It’s great when the passion is re-lit! <3 Missed you. You are cherished. Love, Traci Michele @Ordinary Inspirations

  • Cindy B.

    Welcome back I missed seeing your blog posts glad to see you back I know how it feels to be burned out though!!

  • Alexis

    Welcome back :) SO happy to hear you are rejuvinated and ready to go. Good for you for taking the break you needed. Can you share your husband’s blog? Is it encouraging to husbands??

    • http://twitter.com/sarahmae Sarah Mae

      I promise I’ll give it out when he lets me! :)

  • http://twitter.com/Vaderalman Mark Allman

    I think in anything burn out is natural. I think we should expect it and plan for it. I think to slow the onset one has to take breaks at certain intervals from the things you do to put it off. Once it is upon you I think you should back away and stay away. Look at what others are doing and let them water your fields for a while. You may come back to your previous endeavors or you may move on to others.

    Give us that link to your husband blog!

    • http://twitter.com/sarahmae Sarah Mae

      Haha! I will when he’s ready! ;)

  • http://twitter.com/kalynbr00ke KalynBrooke

    I’m exhausted from blogging, and I haven’t even really had time to be successful yet. Lol! But I realize I have to take it one day at a time. I can’t expect everything to be fabulous the moment I hit publish.

  • Ginny Walls

    See, you do have words, I knew they were in there. Good to have you back!

  • Q. August

    I have felt depressed because of different things going on in my life. I’m coming out of the depression and I’m ready to persue my passion again. I really do love writing and I do have something to say. I’ve been telling myself I didn’t have anything valuable to share but I do.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=686442200 Kristine McGuire

    Yep. Been there and done that with the fancy t-shirt purchase. Every writer experiences it. Glad you found your voice again. :)

  • Jolene

    Thank you! This fits how I have been feeling about life in general lately! However, it’s encouraging that I am not alone and that there is an end to it if I take a little time to recoup. Plus I love the Matthew 11:28-30 verse that Heather MacFadyen commented with – It speaks to my soul. Thank you. Thank you.

  • http://twitter.com/WMGardener WifeMotherGardener

    That is me and my blog this week! Thanks for putting words to the
    experience of burn-out and making me laugh because I share in the same
    intense desire for movies and snacks :)… we are satisfied with so
    little some times. We need the Lord to meet us & help us remember
    why do we matter?? and why did he put us here??

    Thanks for this post!

  • http://hikingtowardhome.com/ Sharon@HikingTowardHome

    This post describes me to a “T”.
    I’be been struggling with this for over a year. Sad huh? Hoping that Allume will help to refocus and renew my ‘want to”. Almost feel strange going to Allume and having not blogged much in the last year. And also not at all on a regular basis of any sort.

  • Debbie C.

    This is exactly how I’ve been feeling Sarah. I’m so glad you are sharing this. I’m not sure what I’m going to do just yet. I was having a conversation with my hubby the other night and I was just saying exactly this: I am beyond overwhelmed, I feel stuck, I think I am just burned out!!. After reading this it makes sense. However I am starting to feel like I can breath again and it feels good. Thanks for your transparency! Your writings are a blessing.

  • thewordweaver1

    Ah, a name for this! I’ve not written much at all either and have kicked myself all over kingdom come for it. Then I’ve kicked myself back all over kingdom come because I keep reminding myself that I have nothing of value to say. Vicious cycle! I’m trying to stop the cycle and start telling myself to be kind and patient with myself.

    Deb Weaver
    thewordweaver.com