2020 was the year of COVID-19. I believe it was also the year of fatigue.
So many leaders have been challenged, beat down, and talked down to because of the COVID-19 virus. They’ve become beat-up, worn-down versions of their old selves.
Then comes the year 2021.
Things are looking better in terms of COVID-19. People returned to work. Business picked up.
Then, like a rollercoaster, we’re hit with another wave of COVID-19 issues.
The Year Of Continued Fatigue
According to Healthline, fatigue is the overall feeling of tiredness or a lack of energy. Who here has felt that this year, especially?
I’ll be the first to raise my hand.
The year 2020 was challenging. Between COVID, lack of work, and the death of my father, I was worn out and tired.
I, like a lot of others, was looking forward to 2021 being a better year. It has been in some sense. In other senses, it has been just as bad, if not worse.
This has brought on a constant feeling of fatigue.
I wanted to address this in today’s article. So many leaders I’ve talked to have shared shame in the fact that they feel fatigued. They believe they should feel pretty good with everything starting back up and things getting back to normal. So, why the feeling of fatigue?
There are lots of reasons. The top 5 reasons 2021 is the year of continued fatigue are:
1. A sense of lost identity: Many leaders are unsure of who they are or what they identify as. I’ve seen this hit Christian leaders especially hard.
You may be questioning whether or not you’re a Christian after seeing the ugliness displayed last year. You may wonder if you’re a leader after being gone from the office for a year. Or you may not know how to lead with so many challenges tossed your way.
2. A loss of workers: We lost a lot of workers in 2020. Some were let go due to a lack of work. Others quit to find greener pastures.
The loss of workers has hurt leaders. Churches don’t have the same number of volunteers because people aren’t coming back to the physical church building. Workers have found new places of employment. Trying to find people to work or volunteer has worn us out.
3. A lot of careless words: There was a saying growing up that went something like this: Sticks and stones will break my bones but words will never hurt me. The saying sounds good. It tries to instill in children a sense of identity that comes from something other than others. Yet, the saying fails.
Words do hurt. Words are wounds from friends, loved ones, and those we serve. When these words are used to attack or belittle, we become weary from the attacks. A lot of careless words have been tossed around the last year and a half.
4. A lack of direction: Leaders can see the future. They know what they want to create and begin moving towards the future they want to create. This is harder than ever to do.
Leaders are left pondering what is to come with no real clarity on when or if things will get back to normal. The vision for the future is no longer clear. It is darn near impossible to see these days.
5. A longing for yesterday: I don’t know if there’s ever been a time in our history that we’ve longed for the past as much as we have over this last year. We want the normalcy. We want the relationships. We want things like they used to be.
Things are not going back to the way they used to be regardless of how much we desire for them to do so. We have to be willing to let the old go and take up the new.
Our fatigue is to be expected. A lot has gone on in the years 2020 and 2021. Many of us leaders have never experienced anything like this before.
This is the year of continued fatigue…
This doesn’t mean we stay sulking in our fatigue. We cannot remain there! We must rest and then rise up. We have to make sure we’re physically and mentally prepared to lead again.
Go, get the rest you need. Get the mental health treatment you need. Make the counseling appointment. Take the retreat.