Are You Experiencing the Overload Syndrome?

In the beautiful Hebrew language, the word for rest is sabbath. Sabbath is more of a lifestyle choice than taking a nap or a day off to get some things done around the house. Sabbath living is the constant choice to live with margin in our lives. Margin is the space between our load and our limits. Margin is our mental, emotional, and spiritual strength. It’s our reserves, our breathing room, our energy, our vitality. Unfortunately, few of us have much margin in our lives. Dr. Richard Swenson says it this way: “The unbalanced life will not be kind to us in the area neglected.”[i] When our lives have margin, it means we are doing the work to bring a sense of rest and wholeness to our bodies, minds, and souls.

Are you overloaded?

You may already know whether overload syndrome is plaguing your life and family, but these questions can help you assess:

  1. Have you stopped enjoying life because you are too busy?
  2. Have you stopped developing new relationships?
  3. Are you exhausted most of the time?
  4. If you’re married, do you and your spouse have a regular date night?
  5. Does your family have an enjoyable dinner together on a regular basis?
  6. Do you get enough sleep?
  7. Do you regularly take a restful day off?
  8. Do you often take a break from social media and emails?
  9. Do you have credit problems or a large debt load?
  10. Are your children showing signs of stress?

If you answered yes to most of these questions, you are experiencing overload.

You already probably know what to do and what you need to do when in the midst of overload, but just in case you don’t I’ll write about the answer in next week’s blog.

[i] Richard A. Swenson, The Overload Syndrome: Learning to Live within Your Limits (Colorado Springs: NavPress, 1998), 71.

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Jim Burns

Jim Burns is the president of HomeWord. He speaks to thousands of people around the world each year. He has close to 2 million resources in print in 20 languages. He primarily writes and speaks on the values of HomeWord, which are: Strong Marriages, Confident Parents, Empowered Kids, and Healthy Leaders. Some of his most popular books are: Confident Parenting, The Purity Code, Creating an Intimate Marriage, Closer, and Doing Life with Your Adult Children. Jim and his wife, Cathy, live in Southern California and have three grown daughters, Christy, Rebecca, and Heidi; three sons-in-law, Steve and Matt, and Andy; and three grandchildren, James, Charlotte and Huxley.

  • About HomeWord

    HomeWord helps families succeed by creating Biblical resources that build strong marriages, confident parents, empowered kids and healthy leaders. Founded by Jim Burns, HomeWord seeks to advance the work of God in the world by educating, equipping, and encouraging parents and churches. Learn More »

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