We would think that the field of counseling would offer a lifetime of satisfaction and vocational fulfilment. But it is hard work that is emotionally draining and very stressful. Contributing to this are the feelings of futility, powerlessness, fatigue, cynicism, apathy, irritability and frustration. To help prevent burnout, we can utilize these ideas:
- Spiritual strength that comes from regular periods of prayer and meditation on the Scriptures.
- Support from a few others who accept us for who we are and not what we do. We all need a person to whom we can cry if we need to, a person who we can trust.
- Solitude: take time off from the demands of people. Jesus did.
- Share the load by training a few capable leaders to be sensitive lay counselors and burden bearers.
If you are burned out already, take the phone off the hook and get away for a time of re-evaluation. Consider your leisure activities. How can you lighten your load and add self-fulfillment and relaxation? We are beings who need both work and rest and play. Otherwise life will become boring and routine.