3 Ways I’m Addressing Burnout

by | May 1, 2024

I’ve been trying to address stress and burnout in my life, and wrote this post about it two weeks ago. I wish I could say everything is resolved by now but I know this isn’t going to be a quick fix. Despite being on blood pressure medication for a few weeks now, my eye has now had a third blood pressure spike/burst blood vessel. So right now, I’m walking around AGAIN with an eye that looks like blood was poured into the white of my eye. Lovely. I feel like I show up everywhere looking demon possessed.

I read an article this week that said it’s important to recognize the symptoms of burnout early. I don’t know if I did. I found myself wondering…did I discover this early? In the middle? Before what would have been a crash and burn ending? I don’t know. Whatever it is, I just want it fixed.

I don’t want to be a negative Nellie here on my blog and at the same time I believe there are probably a lot of people dealing with stress, burnout and the like, who need help. So, I’m going to talk about it.

One thing I want to address up front is that I just got back from a week’s vacation. Some might think, “Burnout? Didn’t you just return from vacation? How are you burned out?” Well, first of all — one vacation doesn’t cure chronic stress or burnout. And, interestingly enough, my blood pressure readings were the highest this month when I was on vacation. (My doctor has me monitoring my bp every day at home.) Having high bp on vacation might have something to do with my husband and I being on two completely different wavelengths regarding vacation but that’s another post for another day. Suffice it to say, he got off the boat without me this time. I was too exhausted to leave the ship. I had hit a wall, so to speak. I got on the boat in Miami and never got off again until we came back home. I didn’t have it in me to even get off at any ports. Still, I always feel the pull to go do something, rather than stay in bed all day — because that’s what he wants to do. How do other married folks handle this? I’d like to know.

So here are a few things I’m doing to try to address the burnout I’m experiencing:

Let go of FOMO

Fear of Missing Out. We’ve all probably struggled with it. I have said yes to far too many things because I’m afraid they won’t come around again. I am guarding against that. If it’s meant for me it will come around again.

I decided that while I’m on a book deadline I’m not going to teach an adjunct class again. That will still leave me with time to teach classes, mostly during book launches and other times I am on a self-imposed (self publishing) deadline versus a traditional publisher timeline. If it’s meant for me, it will circle back to me.

By the way, I’m excited about teaching a class at SEU in the fall: Teambuilding Within Organizations. This is so up my alley I don’t even have to study! And I already have all the textbooks. I just about fell over when they asked me to teach it because it couldn’t be more “me.” And during that time, I will not be on a book deadline.

But the point here is, if I was asked to teach this same class and I was on a book deadline, no matter how much I want to teach it and no matter how easy it seems, the answer WILL be no. The old me would not have done this. I am proud of myself! I believe one of my major keys to overcoming burnout will be saying no when I really want to say yes.

Shamelessly take a nap

The past few weeks I decided when I’m at the office, I will take a nap during my lunch hour rather than take a break to eat. My office days are so much earlier of a start than my work at home days. I have to get up very early to get ready and do my commute and make it there for devotions/staff meeting. Lately I’ve been shutting my door, flicking off the light and sleeping from 12-1.  Then I wake up, get my lunch and bring it to my desk while I sit and nibble on it and do my work on the computer at the same time. I don’t need to do this at home because I can wake up later being that there is no commute involved. And frankly, I don’t even need to get dressed at home. I can do my work in my pajamas if I want to.

Take another look at my goals

I am in the process of asking myself…will this thing matter when I die? If not, maybe I don’t need to be doing it anymore.

I get asked to do a lot of things. Some of them sound fun. Others sound lucrative. There are invitations that may be possible gateways to other things I aspire to do. But if they don’t matter for eternity and if my plate is already full now, I need to say no or at least…not yet.

I knew that I needed to do these things.

I knew it a long time ago.

But I’ve never been this tired where I feel like I could lay down any minute of the day, any place where I’m at, cover up with my fuzzy blanket and go to sleep. I’ve never been this exhausted, so doing something about it has kind of been decided for me. I can’t go on this way any longer.

Do you struggle with managing stress or burnout? How are you handling it?


  1. Lynn

    I have never been so burned out in my life. I’m doing to many things and I really do relate to the fear of missing out. I think I need to be more aware that if it is for me it will come back around. I’m mentally drained from fighting all the time with my husband. Probably for the first time in my life all I want to do is sleep. I like these suggestions.

    • Dr. Deanna Shrodes

      Hi Lynn, thank you for reaching out. I will be praying for you and your situation specifically. You are not alone. Much love

  2. Laura Elizabeth Flora

    I’ve definitely been stressed lately mine not so much from burnout but more from depression, thinking about my future trying to overcome my past…… Wishing this weight loss journey of mine wasn’t so long and hard but the thing is I’m always going to be on this journey I can’t ever go back to not working out and overeating again because I Never want to be 397 pounds again, I’m 301 right now and still have along ways to go Sigh….

    Working on my mental health I think has been the hardest on me finally dealing with unaddressed trauma has had it’s ups and downs for sure…. In all things through I know God Is with me …

    And I know He is with you…..

    You will get through this Deanna And I am praying for you that your Blood pressure regulates and goes back to normal and that your eye will be healed and no more blood vessels popping in Jesus name 🙏

    I Love you 💕

    • Dr. Deanna Shrodes

      I am so proud of you for all the weight you have lost in this journey, so far. I know how hard it is! You’re going to get there. You’re determined and I know you are going to get to a place of wellness.

  3. Lisa C

    “If it’s meant for me, it will circle back to me.” I love it! Thank you for speaking out about this! I saw a list of “ways to know you’re in burnout,” read them aloud to my husband, and he said, “That’s you.” I knew it but didn’t want to admit it. What has been working for me so far has been advocating for changes in my class schedule (even though it wasn’t well received), guarding my “home time” more carefully (e.g., a cutoff time for reading work emails) and making sure I have planned downtime.

    • Dr. Deanna Shrodes

      This is hard to come to terms with, I know. I used to live in terrible fear that something would not circle back. Some things have not but in the end I realized, they would have stressed me more or possibly even destroyed me. I see what has happened to my friends who did take those particular opportunities, and everything is not wine and roses.

      Good for you for advocating for yourself regarding your class schedule. I know it’s not easy especially when it is not well received. People will work us to death if we let them and then replace us in a heartbeat. It’s not worth it!! I am proud of you for standing up for yourself.

  4. Cynthia Mathews

    A gift you gave me that helped me so much, “ No.” is a complete sentence. I don’t “Have To” explain myself. Yes, is also a complete sentence. Fun is also a necessary component in your life. But only after you have rested. Learning that I don’t have to be “ Wonder Woman” to be valuable.

    • Dr. Deanna Shrodes

      That’s right…NO is a complete sentence. We don’t have to go into all the details. Love you and I’m proud of you.

  5. Dorthy Tufte

    There are issues burnout unique to each person. Yet, I believe a common factor in often is grief. There can be grief over death, loss of dreams, trauma, and even grief over having to decide between good and good and knowing that one will have to say goodbye to a good thing in order to have the other good thing. I think many grieve the idea/dream and expectation of an easy and calm life when living a crazy, hectic life and feeling stuck.
    My other thought is that medical issues can contribute to burnout, also. Issues of chronic fatigue, Adrenal Fatigue Syndrome, fibromyalgia, along with other serious diagnoses.
    I pray for you every day, Deanna. Thank you for sharing so much of your life and lessons with us.

    • Dr. Deanna Shrodes

      All of this is so true, Dorthy. There is a lot to identify/process when you come to this place of burnout. I know grief is a part of it for me. I haven’t really had adequate space to grieve and don’t really know what the answer to that is. I would have to be away by myself for a few months for that to take place, and that is not something that I can do at this time. I believe grief and several other things you mention here are big contributors to my current situation.

      What touches me most about this post is that you pray for me everyday. I had no idea! Knowing someone is calling your name in prayer makes all the difference. Thank you for caring this much. It really does mean the world.

  6. Sue Visaggio

    Love you Deanna and praying for you……I know it is hard for someone like you who is always going full steam ahead and thrives on it to rest. I also can relate to “missing out”……………I hate to or afraid I’m going to miss something…..got to be into everything…..lol…………….I can relate………….again love you and praying for you………..Hey you’ve go a “Summer Tour” coming up……..so ……..rest up…………!!!!!! lol


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