Breaking free from debilitating work stress takes not only doing things out of the box,but breaking the box, getting rid of the box, and living another world away from the box!
We are stressed with our jobs partly because we look at how other people do the same job. And we think that's how we need to operate. This extends to not only watching how others fulfill the items on their job description to their work/life balance. This leads to so much trouble because we pigeonhole ourselves into a paradigm that just doesn't work for us.
Take the issue of "ministry" as a vocation. I hear from many people who are so stressed they are having issues such as heart attacks, yet they feel if they make a change they are "abandoning the call."
What constitutes "the call"?
Must the call be lived out exactly like your pastor lived it? Or your grandfather? Or your mentor?
We have dear friends who are about our age who have been lead pastoring for 10 years now. They've done a fantastic job, however stress and physical issues started taking their toll. They decided to make an unorthodox decision to go from a lead pastor to an associate pastorate position. They continue to follow "the call" and in the process they are also keeping their health, their kids, and their sanity. What a concept!
Sometimes when we're faced with stress that is greatly affecting our health, our family and our work performance the answer is just a creative solution away.
This will most often mean not worrying about what other people think.
Have you considered a position with less responsibility?
You have to not care when they whisper, "are they taking a demotion?" Poppycock. Caring for yourself is never a demotion.
How about a work-from-home situation? Even if you don't have a home based business and you work for someone else, it doesn't hurt to ask especially if you have already proven yourself a trustworthy worker who meets deadlines and is responsible.
What about restructuring your hours? Maybe it's not about less hours, it's just about WHEN you work them. A different shift, or varying the blocks of time that you work may be a help.
Think about what would make your work life less stressful and don't rule anything out as crazy. What you might suggest may just usher in a new idea for workers everywhere.
Who would have ever thought just a decade ago that so many people would be working from home? Somebody broke out of the box and started that...