7 WAYS TO DEAL WITH FATIGUE AS A LEADER

Lately I have been sharing posts that relate to a pastor/leader’s health and well-being.  The reality is that many are not and often the groups they lead are not–in part because of the model at the top.  From Ron Edmondson comes another such post from his excellent blog GRACED AGAIN which is part of my weekly reading list. – STEVE

happy jumping

I posted recently on what happens when I’m tired. It isn’t pretty. (See that post HERE.)  I hear someone say every day “I’m so tired”.  It’s epidemic it seems. There appears to be a lot of fatigue in our world these days. I know it’s true of those in ministry. Someone asked me how to deal with the issue, besides the simple answer of rest.

Here are 7 ways I have for dealing with fatigue:

Check-up – Make sure you are routinely getting medical check ups from your physician. Many health issues have fatigue as a symptom. Make sure something isn’t physically causing your fatigue.

Exercise  and Weight Control – For me, this is number one. Exercising regularly and maintaining a healthy weight helps me stay energized and feel better.  I wrote an extensive post about that HERE.

Watch what you eat – Junk food slows you down. Healthy foods build you up. I’m not an expert here, and don’t practice this as I should, but there are plenty who are equipped to help know what to eat.  What you eat does make a difference in how you feel and most of us know what foods slow us down Learn to fill your body with foods, which help you feel more alive.

Rest – It had to be on the list. Rest is the ultimate solution to coping with fatigue. The body signals that it has reached a point where rest is needed. Sometimes a short nap or extended night’s sleep is the needed response.  Sometimes NOT watching the last television show before you go to bed is a better option.

Mind-breaks – If your job requires you to think deeply, taking short mind breaks is often helpful. One reason I break to Twitter is to give me a quick break from the heaviness of thought. I also change projects throughout the day to keep my mind from wearing me out physically.  Sometimes I step outside and breathe the fresh air or, depending on the type of the fatigue, even go for an afternoon run.

Preparation – Having a plan for your day and week helps to cut down on unnecessary time wasters. You’ll work smarter and feel less exhausted when you begin prepared. Take time to organize yourself for efficiency. (Read a similar post HERE.)

Prioritize – You can’t do everything. Remind yourself that you’ll do better quality work if you aren’t trying to do it all. Try to complete the most important things on your list first, before your energy is drained for the day. Say no to things someone else can do.

Leading today (actually life today) requires a lot of energy. I meet so many people who don’t have the energy they need to get through the day. I realize there are seasons in life where this is unavoidable, but we should strive to keep ourselves healthy enough to be productive and enjoy life.

What advice do you have? What slows you down? What helps your fatigue?

Which of these do you most need to implement?

For a similar thought, read my tips for managing stress HERE.

Related posts:

  1. 7 Reactions to Fatigue (What Happens When I’m Tired)
  2. 7 Specific Ways I Deal with Stress
  3. 7 Ways to Sleep Soundly each Night
  4. 8 Ways to Keep a Leader Looking Forward
Advertisements

SAM RAINER ON NUMB LEADERS

Sam Rainer writes an excellent blog for leaders of established churches.  This post provides some timely self-evaluation as once again you face a new year. – Steve

I’ve had a few dramatic stumbles when I stand quickly, only to realize one of my legs has mysteriously fallen asleep. The numbness makes it feel like the leg has suddenly gone missing, only to give sharp tingling reminders that it indeed is still there.

A foot, arm, or leg falls asleep because of too much pressure over a period of time. This pressure cuts off nerves and arteries, and signals stop going to the brain. The asleep member is still there; it’s just not communicating anymore. And it goes numb.

Perhaps you have served with—or under—a leader who fell flat, who didn’t connect and left a numbing effect on followers. Detachment from followers is the main way leaders go numb. They stop circulating among followers. They are cut off from the body.

In the church, numb pastors are especially dangerous. It means they are separated from the congregation. You cannot lead from a distance. You cannot lead without communicating. You cannot lead without knowing how individual members of the body are interacting.

What happens with numb leaders?

  • Numb leaders stop caring about the feelings of followers. “I don’t care what you think. I’m the leader.”
  • Numb leaders stop having friendly conversations just to catch up. “I can’t talk to you right now because you’re not part of my long-term objectives.”
  • Numb leaders stop seeing joy in little victories. “That’s great, but I’ve got better ways in which to invest my time.”
  • Numb leaders stop solving general problems and start blaming specific individuals. “Who’s responsible for this mistake? Do we need to fire someone?”
  • Numb leaders stop serving. “I’m in charge. Why do I have to do this?”

Tyrants say these things. Numb leaders think them.

And the longer you are detached, then the more painful waking up will be. The longer you are asleep, then the more intense the wake-up process. You’ll have to fight through that pins and needles feeling, shake yourself, and start circulating again.

Because to remain detached is to die. Slowly. Painlessly numb.