Life month is about you! You made in the image of God. You as a fellow redeemed. You as a part of the mystical body, the Church. You as a chosen person.
School leaders are first responders in our schools. School leaders tend to the grief, trauma and crisis of others on a frequent basis. This empathy for others can have a significant impact on one’s mind, body, and soul.
The busyness of being an administrator can also weaken our lives. Unrealistic expectations, long hours and high levels of stress can be damaging for ministry, especially when we do not heed the warning signs of one’s mind and body..
In the article “The Elijah-Decision: When Stress Sucks Away Your Will to Go On” the writer addresses some physical, emotional and spiritual signs of burnout- the extreme of NOT addressing personal care.
Some of those signs include physical symptoms of constant tiredness, loss of sleep, and loss of perspective. Emotional symptoms include fear, loss of optimism, and loss of courage. Spiritual symptoms include lack of enthusiasm and guilt.
So while our school personnel teach students and families about the gift of life and the encouragement to love our neighbor, what should care for self look like? What’s the preventative medicine for burnout?
1- Pray. Burnout can be caused from “constant people pleasing,” from lack of goals and priorities. Praying for God’s will to be done will help align our hearts and minds with the will of our Father.
2- Take care of yourself and make it a priority. Eat well, exercise, respect the need for a Sabbath rest and schedule balance. It’s impossible to have a 40 hour week in our ministry world- and it’s wrong to pursue it. It is right to respond diligently to our many vocations and provide timely balance to such loving service.
3- Receive God’s gifts. Divine service is God’s gift to us. Be weekly in worship. Hear and sing His words. Receive His assurances of forgiveness and the certainty of God’s promises.
Board leaders and parents, how does one love our school personnel? Consider your prayers for them, your own worship and connecting with God and finally, demonstrate and share true concern.