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Even machines need downtime for preventive maintenance. Otherwise, a machine running on a 24 hour, 7 day a week basis at full throttle may burn out its engine.

Human beings need to rest the body and the mind. Ours is a generation of mostly filled day planners and high-speed projects. We get upset if we have to wait for an elevator for 10 seconds. If the revolving door is slow, even by a second or two, we notice. We have fast restaurants, instant photo development, high-speed computers and supersonic transportation systems.

I marvel how I managed life walking six miles to school. The use of a calculator was considered cheating. We washed clothes by hand and hung them up to dry for hours. Cultivation was by plow. Cooking was an adventure to remember ? it was a whole day?s job. Gathering foodstuff from the garden, processing it by hand, collecting firewood and fetching water occurred before the three or four hour cooking project began.

Statements like, ?I am bored? or ?I am not excited with my job or life? were never heard. In short, there was no burnout.

Burnout, when it persists can and does cause physical problems such as headaches, back pain, exhaustion, insomnia and nervousness. Further, burnout can lead to loss of motivation, lack of concern for relationships, increased absenteeism, sentimental negativity for opposing views, and isolation.

If unchecked, burnout can lead to spiritual retardation, marital problems, mediocre performance and substance abuse.

Here are suggestions of how to avoid burnout:

1. Sleep enough. Did you know that most all animals take naps? In most countries, businesses close at noon or 1:00 p.m. for people to eat and rest. It is good for the body, mind and soul. God, with His infinite wisdom, dedicated the Sabbath for rest. What is good for Him is good enough for me.

2. Exercise. Physical activities rejuvenate the body and create motivation.

3. Connect your past with your future. Where have you come from in your spiritual journey or professional endeavors or in relationships? Where do you want to be in the future? Try to have something to look forward to at any one time.

4. Learn something new. Mental activation is medicinal for fatigue. Read about things you have always wanted to learn about. Visit museums, old penitentiaries or cultural centers. Read the Bible.

5. Appreciate the skill of saying NO. And don?t feel guilty for not carrying beyond your capacity ? there are others who can do what you say no about. You are the only one who can save yourself from possible burnout.

6. Develop a hobby, but not at the expense of your family time.

7. Set achievable goals. Realistic goals will keep you motivated and also flexible to enjoy other aspects of life

8. Remember, God?s second best gift to us (the first is salvation) is other people. Associate with people who can help you grow spiritually, professionally and socially. Serve the less fortunate. Have friends in different age groups.

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