Stress Less or Learn to Burn

Jim Still-Pepper

devozine Frustrated TSP 119531667Burnout is when you are so stressed out that you are emotionally and physically exhausted. It’s when your body runs out of energy. Unfortunately, many teens are living a life that leads to burnout.


Take the Test

According to a recent poll, 95 percent of teenagers are sressed out. Are you heading for burnout? Take this test and see where you stand.

___Yes ___No    My family has gone through a recent change.

___Yes ___No    I worry at least twice a week about getting into college.

___Yes ___No    Most days I worry about what other people think of me.

___Yes ___No    I don’t spend time with God every often.

___Yes ___No    My boyfriend/girlfirend and I have broken up.

___Yes ___No    Most days I worry too much about my school work.

___Yes ___No    I usually don’t get enough sleep.

___Yes ___No    I typically don’t eat right (I east mostly junk food, or I skip meals).

___Yes ___No    It has been weeks since I really exercised.

___Yes ___No    I feel as if I’m always running and never have time to relax.

___Yes ___No    My grades have dropped lately.

___Yes ___No    I haven’t hung out with my friends in a while.

___Yes ___No    I hardly ever get excited about anything anymore.

___Yes ___No    I don’t need to take this test; I already know that I’m burned out.


How Did you Score?

Total number of “Yes” responses:_____

> If your score is 0-3, you are doing great! Keep up the good work. (In fact, help others learn to deal with their stress!)

> If your score is 4-7, you have a lot of stress in your life. If you don’t do something about it, you may experience burnout soon. Make some plans now!

> If your score is 8 or more, STOP! You need to slow down now. If you were a car, you would be running on empty. Start doing things that will keep you from being exhausted. In fact, check out the list at the bottom and start making some changes!


Steps to Help

Don’t handle this alone! When Moses was burned out from helping people, he sought help by talking to others (Exodus 18:17-19a.) Try talking to . . .

  • God, who cares for you and can carry your burdens. (1 Peter 5:7).
  • Your parents about taking a vacation, whether its going to your Aunt Betty’s house in Timbuktu or to a park for a nice picnic and a walk.
  • Your teachers, to see if there are better ways to study and to prepare for schoolwork and college.
  • Your pastor or youth director, who can give you some spiritual tips for dealing with burnout.
  • A concert ticket sales rep. Make a deal with yourself—either you will learn to handle stress more effectively or you will buy several tickets to see your parents’ favorite musical artist in concert.
  • Your friends. Ask them to help you laugh and take it easy.
  • Yourself (but don’t let anyone hear you!) Tell yourself to calm down, and give yourself permission to take it easy.


devozine Breath Prayer2 TS 100635105DIG DEEPER

Read Mark 1:29-35. It had been a very long day, and Jesus had healed many people. Yet, he got up early the next morning to talk to God in prayer. He avoided burnout by making sure he spent time with his father. Have you spent time with God lately? Have you spent enough time with God lately?

Jim Still-Pepper is a therapist who works with teens. He tries hard to deal with burnout so he won't have to buy those concert tickets!

—from devozine (May/June 1998). Copyright © 1998 by The Upper Room®. All rights reserved.
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