How To Overcome Burnout (Guest Post by Brenda McGraw)

How to Overcome Burnout B McGrawI’ve been taking a little break from blogging, but I’ll be back next week. Meanwhile, today I have another guest post for you all. I’m delighted to host my friend Brenda McGraw on this site.

Brenda is a author & speaker from South Carolina, a heart attack & cancer survivor who now helps people find joy beyond the complexities of modern life.

Today she’s sharing on an interesting perspective on an important subject – how we handle the burnout many of us today experience. I’ll be blogging around this topic soon myself.  So, over to Brenda:

How do you handle burnout? When life just gets to be overwhelming and is coming at you faster than you can keep up with it, what happens? Do you shut down purposely? Or are you the one who keeps pushing yourself until you get sick and have to shut down?

Are we listening to our bodies when they are yelling at us that they are “stressed out,” or are we avoiding the signs of stress or burnout?

I hate to admit it, but I am a procrastinator at times. It is not necessarily because I am lazy or forgetful, but more because I have too much to do. I am a to-do-list person and truly believe that a scheduled life is a peaceful life. When you know what is ahead of you, you can prepare your mind, body and soul for the activity or project.

My procrastination happens when I am working down my list and run out of time. I tend to overbook myself at times, not meaning to and with good intentions, but it happens. That’s when stress can set in.

When we don’t plan,we are setting ourselves up for failure; because no plan at all, is a plan. (you can tweet that)

I keep a calendar; how about you? I write most everything I need to accomplish on my to-do list or my calendar, and some items on both. A calendar can keep us informed about the date and future events. We are all given 24 hours per day. For some people that may be too much time, and for others like myself, it is never enough. However, God thought it was enough and He knows how each of us is wired. We revolve around the concept of time. Many of you have a five-day work week and look forward to the weekend so you can relax. Others have something to do most every day and we can schedule our own hours. So how do we fill those days up? What is written on your calendar?

How To Defeat Discouragement

Are we moseying around and not getting anything accomplished, and before we know it the kids are home from school, the hubby or wife is home from work, and we totally wasted the whole day? I understand and I get it. At one time I was so miserable in my circumstances that all I wanted to do was sleep. I would go back to bed after I took the kids to school. Before I knew it, it was lunch time and then time to pick the kids back up from school. This doesn’t work very well when you need to be more productive and less unproductive. We know what we should be doing, but we let the procrastinator arise in us and we once again fall short.

Try keeping a calendar to help you combat burnout and contribute to your fruitfulness. What’s the saying? “I am too blessed to be stressed.” One way blessings happen is by defeating the enemy of discouragement.

The way to defeat discouragement is to lift up your head, schedule your plans, be prepared for what is ahead, and be productive. I find that I am much less stressed when I have a plan and I follow it. I know where I am going and how to arrive, one project at a time.

“There is a time for everything,

    and a season for every activity under the heavens:

    a time to be born and a time to die,

    a time to plant and a time to uproot,

    a time to kill and a time to heal,

    a time to tear down and a time to build,

    a time to weep and a time to laugh,

    a time to mourn and a time to dance,

    a time to scatter stones and a time to gather them,

    a time to embrace and a time to refrain from embracing,

    a time to search and a time to give up,

    a time to keep and a time to throw away,


    a time to tear and a time to mend,

    a time to be silent and a time to speak,

    a time to love and a time to hate,

    a time for war and a time for peace.” (Ecc. 3:1-8)


(Need someone to hold you accountable? Check out Brenda McGraw Mastermind and Consulting.)




Brenda McGraw

Brenda McGraw is an author and speaker who reveals how to discover joy beyond the clutter of life. She draws from her own life experiences in the #1 Amazon Best seller, “Joy Beyond, 28 Days to Finding Joy Beyond the Clutter of Life”. She is the founder of Ask God Today Ministries where she has a team of writers sharing truth and hope with others.

Brenda currently lives in South Carolina with her husband, Jeff and three of their five children. She is a survivor of breast cancer and a heart attack.. Despite the challenges she has endured, Brenda found peace through her relationship with Jesus Christ.

Brenda McGraw book coverContact info:

You can connect with Brenda at:

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Twitter – @BrendaMMcGraw

Facebook Author Page

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Email –

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(Picture Source: Brenda McGraw)

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  1. Elyse Salpeter on April 6, 2015 at 11:40 am

    Burnout is tough – I try to mix up things. If I feel I’m working too much and not having any “me time” then I join a class or try to do something with friends, “for me.” Sometimes I just stop writing and draw or read and give myself a break from the pressures to create. I try to be kind to myself.

    • James Prescott on April 6, 2015 at 11:54 am

      I think being kind to ourselves is so important. In the consumer world we live in we often forget.

    • Brenda McGraw on April 6, 2015 at 4:27 pm

      Great wisdom Elyse. We have to be kind to ourselves and cut ourselves some slack. After all, we are only one person. God’s got this! Have a terrific day! Thanks for the comment.

  2. James Prescott on April 6, 2015 at 11:54 am

    Burnout is common. I think having a plan is very useful, having a structure and order to our lives is very important to leading a balanced life. Useful post here, thanks for sharing so insightfully and honestly Brenda!

    • Brenda McGraw on April 6, 2015 at 4:26 pm

      Thanks James and thank you for inviting me to guest post on your site. What an honor. I love your readers. They rock. Have a great day!

  3. Scott Bury on April 6, 2015 at 2:18 pm

    I know I’ve felt burned out sometimes, and tied up with that is that nagging guilt that I should be doing more. Thanks for presenting this advice!

    • Brenda McGraw on April 6, 2015 at 4:25 pm

      Scott we only have 24 hours in a day. Although, sometimes it doesn’t feel like enough we can’t beat ourselves up when we have done all we can do. I have to seek the Lord for wisdom and allow Him to lead the way. Have a great day!

  4. mnicholeh on April 6, 2015 at 2:25 pm

    Great post Brenda. James, I think this is a fabulous topic. Burnout IS tough and in my experience having an action plan helps overcome it. I like what Elyse said about “me time”. I find that is most helpful for me as well.

    • Brenda McGraw on April 6, 2015 at 4:23 pm

      Thanks. We can all get a little burned out at times. We just have to listen to our bodies and prioritize. And yes, the “me time” is great as well. Have a wonderful day. Thanks for the comments.

  5. Tara Fairfield on April 6, 2015 at 2:43 pm

    Great post and very timely for me. I’ve been going through burnout lately and just stepped away from blogging and writing for some play time and family time which always helps me recharge!

    • Brenda McGraw on April 6, 2015 at 4:22 pm

      Hey Tara. Sometimes we do have to step away and rest. Our families always need to come first over our writing. Writing and blogging is a so much more demanding of your time and energy than most can imagine. Rest if you must but don’t quit. The world needs to hear your words. Have a great day and enjoy the kiddos. Blessings to you.

  6. Lisa M. Collins on April 6, 2015 at 3:01 pm

    I’m not sure my low points could be called burnout, per se. I think I have come to a point in my life where I’m secure enough that I will just let myself “off the hook” on non-absolute-priorities. If the stress of meeting those absolutes (bill paying, job expectations, family obligations) becomes overwhelming I don’t keep forcing myself to be Super Mom or Super Wife or Wonder-Writer…I let it go, meet the needs that are necessary, and when I can breathe again I ramp up my other activities. When I was in my twenties I would feel such an incredible amount of guilt if I had to let anything slide. One day I had an epiphany. The only one I was hurting or letting down was myself and did I really need to be so demanding. No I did not.

    • Brenda McGraw on April 6, 2015 at 4:19 pm

      Great thoughts and wisdom Lisa. Thanks for reading. Have a great day!

    • Onisha Ellis on April 6, 2015 at 4:43 pm

      I agree Lisa.

  7. Bob Nailor on April 6, 2015 at 3:51 pm

    Great advice. Burnout is too often in my face and focus helps me cope.

    • Brenda McGraw on April 6, 2015 at 4:18 pm

      I understand Bob. I have to focus and try not to overload myself. Thanks for the comment. Have a productive and awesome day!

  8. Onisha Ellis on April 6, 2015 at 4:46 pm

    Sometimes burnout is a symptom I am doing something I don’t want to be doing or I am approaching it in the wrong way.

    • Brenda McGraw on April 6, 2015 at 6:38 pm

      That can be true as well Onisha. Thanks for sharing.

  9. lisajey on April 6, 2015 at 8:06 pm

    Anytime I start to get burnt out, I have to take a step back and breathe… and then I must shift directions or approach. It always helps!

    • Brenda McGraw on April 7, 2015 at 1:59 am

      Thanks for sharing Lisa. Many times I will “breathe in . . . breathe out.” Have a great evening.

  10. Nancy Kay Grace on April 6, 2015 at 10:09 pm

    Thanks for sharing, Brenda! Great thoughts. I especially like the encouragement to have a plan. Sometimes creating a plan seems overwhelming and it’s easier to do nothing. But that doesn’t make progress toward goals. More of the same doesn’t bring change. Have a blessed day!

    • Brenda McGraw on April 7, 2015 at 1:58 am

      I know Nancy Kay, but no plan is a plan without action. It’s easier for me to look ahead and plan out what I need to do. Even if I don’t get it done I want forget about if I have it written down (or I used Evernote for my to-do lists). Thanks for taking time to read and comment. Have a great day.

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