What Refuels You? 4 Ways You MUST Invest in Yourself to Avoid Burnout

Have you ever experienced burnout? I have.

Less than a year ago I was on the verge of a collapse- physically and mentally, due to overwork AND stress.

How did I get there?

My wife and I had recently welcomed our second child into the world.  Needless to say we weren’t getting a whole lot of sleep and the demands of a newborn and a toddler were exhausting.  To make matters worse, I overextended myself during an already busy season at church by committing to officiating college soccer games 3 days a week.

Bad idea- right?

I was over-committed.  I was tired.  I was not being a very effective husband, father, friend, or pastor. I had nothing to offer the people who needed me most.

Have you ever felt this way? Do you feel this way now? Is there any hope?

The good news is that there is hope and it has to do with being selfish.

Yes, you’ve read that right. You have to be SELFISH!

Here’s what I mean by that. In order to be an effective spouse, parent, friend, employee, neighbor, etc., you must first be an effective YOU!

And the only way to be an effective YOU is to invest in yourself. You must refuel. Much like racecar driver makes a pit stop periodically for gas, tires, and maintenance, you too need to pause regularly in order keep going and achieve the best results.

How should you refuel, you ask?  Here’s the answer:


4 Ways you MUST Invest in Yourself to Avoid Burnout:


1. Physically

This includes activities like diet, sleep, and exercise.

For me, I have committed to eating a healthy diet and avoid diet busters like excessive sodas and sweets. I have also committed to working out at least 3 days of week and sleeping 7-8 hours each night.

What do you need to do to refuel physically?


2. Intellectually

This includes activities that fuel your brain.

For me, I have committed to regular reading and listening to podcasts each week (many times while I work out) as well as attend 2 leadership or pastoral conferences a year. I am also pursuing and MBA.

What do you need to do to refuel intellectually?


3. Emotionally

This one can be a little more ambiguous, especially for men. However, many times refueling emotionally is connected to refueling relationally.

For me, I have committed to having monthly date nights and daily intentional conversations with my wife. I am also committed to having at least one guys night a month.

What do you need to do to refuel emotionally?


4. Spiritually

Of all the areas to refuel, this is the one that often gets the least attention.

For me, I have committed to having a daily quiet time of prayer and Bible reading (before the kids wake up), weekly small group time, and monthly retreat days. When I am prioritizing all of these things, I typically feel close in my relationship with God.

What do you need to do to refuel spiritually?



To sum things up, I don’t want you to go through what I went through last year. I was on the verge of a collapse, largely because I was stretched too thin and I wasn’t taking care of myself.

Be selfish with your time. Be selfish with your energy. Make the time to invest in yourself. I promise you will be in a much better place and the people around you will benefit so much more.

On a side note, figuring out what refuels you is one of the many incredible tools I take clients through during our two-day LifePlan session.  If you’re interested in learning more, check out my LifePlan page!

Comments are closed.


August 8, 2017


Tom Skilling


Personal Development Spiritual Growth

Get Connected