The Need for Restorative Rest in the Midst of Perpetual Burnout

The Need for Restorative Rest in the Midst of Perpetual Burnout


You’ll be calm the day you learn to sit alone and do nothing ~ Maxime Legace


Everyday we are confronted with the global and individual experiences of the suffering and overwhelming need of others that place demands on us to respond. Everyday the warp speed changes in our world drain more and more of our energy, emotions and spirit. These circumstances can trigger our desire to work tirelessly to assist others while forgetting that we must save some of the compassion and healing we are willing to give to others for ourselves.

As Mushim Patricia Ikeda suggests in her article “I Vow Not to Burn Out” (http://www.dailygood.org/2019/11/17/i-vow-not-to-burn-out/), the net effect of trying to do too much to keep pace with the demands and needs of others is that we often ‘sacrifice ourselves at the altar of doing too much and become martyrs for the many causes that we take on.’ Taking on too much and getting ourselves overcommitted is the path that leads inevitably to burnout. In other words, spending increasing amounts of our time helping others results in less time available for the deep restorative rest and self-care that we simply cannot live without.


I was struck by Ms. Ikeda’s affirmation that is well worth making a part of your daily prayer:

“Aware of suffering and injustice, I, _________, am working to create a more just, peaceful, and sustainable world. I promise, for the benefit of all, to practice self-care, mindfulness, healing, and joy. I vow to not burn out.”


The article expresses the need for restorative and continual self-care as a key component of survival in this time of monumental change and radical new perspectives/approaches to how we do our lives.

It suggests that we need to construct this new “woke” way of living by understanding “how it functions, handles conflict, makes decisions, eats and loves, grieves and plays.” She offers the notion that embarking on such a global journey cannot be done without being deeply rested and restored from the inside out.


So – how do we even begin to engage the full self-care we need to sustain that new and ‘woke’ world that is evolving around us? How do we maintain our physical, emotional and spiritual wellbeing so we can be a balanced and healthy participant ?


Here are a few actions to consider –

  • Prioritise and choose to participate in the activities that speak to your soul and that are meaningful for you – accept that personal responsibility
  • Make time to bring sacred space into your life – spend time in nature; meditate and breathe to restore your spirit
  • Maintain a balanced life perspective. Make room for time alone as well as time with others and let both situations nourish and refresh your emotional inner life.
  • Be disciplined about how much you let yourself become distracted by such time-wasters as social media and television.

Deep restorative rest is at the heart of moving through the challenging times we face today. It is in rest that we are quieted and opened to grace and inspiration. It is in rest that we are renewed and healed.


For more information on Breathwork, contact John Stamoulos at john@johnstamoulos.com

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