Four Things to Do When You Want to Quit

by | Aug 8, 2017 | Christian Living

Today I decided to eat potato chips and chocolate chips (it’s a great combination if you’ve never tried it) and sit in front of the television watching the Great British Baking Show on Netflix.

Sounds productive, right?

But, honestly, I feel like there’s probably nothing better that I could do today.

You see, I’ve hit a slump. Maybe you’ve been there. Everything feels hard. Staying tucked under the covers all day long and eating the whole carton of ice cream feels like the only thing that can make it better. And, yet, it doesn’t.

Today, I want to quit. I want to say, “Forget it.” I’m done. This seems to be a theme in my life lately.

Just twelve hours after my book hit the number-one new release spot in its category on Amazon’s chart, I sat in the bathtub and decided to stop writing. I resolved to shut down this blog and be done with it all. The thought of going on was just too much.

This is called burnout. And it’s real.

Have you ever been there? Maybe you’ve decided to quit your volunteer position or your workout routine? Or, maybe it’s something even more painful .  . . perhaps you are considering quitting your marriage, walking out on your job, or leave your church?

Whatever it is you feel like giving up on, can I offer you some encouragement?

Don’t do anything rash.

I know, you’re thinking it’s not rash. You’ve been in the dilemma for years. You’ve been planning your exit strategy for months. But, quitting isn’t always the best answer.

In fact, I’d dare say that most of the time when you feel like quitting and that voice in your head chants, “Do it! Do it! Do it!” – it’s not God directing you in a new way, it’s the voice of the enemy, trying to take you off course.Four things to do when you're ready to quit

Instead of quitting right away, try these strategies:

1. Take a nap.

A long nap. Like a week’s worth of a nap. Sleep changes things. Period. When Elijah became plum tuckered out on the prophet’s circuit, God knocked him asleep, fed him a good meal, and then made him sleep some more. I’ve been amazed at how a good night’s sleep or a good nap can give me the ability to handle situations that I feel are unmanageable.

2. Work it out.

Take a walk, go for a run. Talk to a friend whom you trust to give you biblically-sound advice. Do something completely different than what you do everyday. If you are always inside, go for a stroll outside in the sun. If you work outdoors a lot, find a cool cafe for a unique change of scenery. Get a different perspective physically will sometimes help you get a different perspective mentally. If you can take a vacation, even better!

3. Pray.

(Before you get on me about pray not being first, let me explain. When you are burnt out-sometimes the rest needs to precede the prayer.)

There are some things that we need to quit. God asked me to give up a number of jobs I was doing a few years ago. I was writing for four different blogs, working at a gym, and stretched to thin. It was painful to give those things up in a way, but they were draining me.

If you feel like you should still quit something after rest, and time away, then talk to God about it. You may not get a “why” as to what you should do, but trust him to prompt you in the right direction. If you don’t get a clear answer right away, take more time with it. God never rushes us, we just do that to ourselves.

4. Take a Sabbath.

Take a full day (or more if you can) away from what you think you can no longer stand. If there’s an identifiable cause for your burnout -give yourself some distance from it for at least one day a week. I find that when I skip taking a sabbath each week (i.e. somehow I work every single day), burnout comes on quickly. Things I once loved, I begin to hate. God directs us to Sabbath for a reason. Don’t skip it because you’re “too busy” or you’ll just find yourself beat down.

How about you? What do you do when you want to quit?

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  1. Mandy

    Hi Heather,

    Is there a way I can contact you directly?

    • Heather Creekmore

      Sure Mandy! You can use the contact form on this page or you can email me at “Heather (at) Compared to who (dot) me” 🙂

  2. Carolyn Barnett

    Right now I’m struggling to keep up with my Bible reading and prayer time. This frustrates me because a couple of months ago, it was better. I started back to college (plus 4 kids and a husband and work) so I feel rushed a lot. I guess I want to quit school and also quit trying to monitor my sugar. As soon as I say I’m doing good, then Bam! I bought 2 packages of cookies yesterday! I was like, what am I thinking! I should just give up and quit! But I don’t want to! So, I like the idea of getting some rest and also doing something outside the norm. I am a paper and pencil type so I like the idea of making a plan as well. I know I cannot give up; just need to trust Him more to help me.

    • Heather Creekmore

      Yes . . .it’s hard, isn’t it? Rest always makes such a difference. I think when we’re tired we crave sugar more too which makes saying “no” to sweets 1000X harder. I had the same thing happen yesterday! I’d been doing good with sugar and then I had to make cookies … which of course required way too much sampling. Ahhhh . .. Grace, grace . . . I’m glad God gives it and we can give it to ourselves! 😉 He will help us! I know he’s faithful. Praying you see his faithfulness in the months to come!

  3. Christine

    I quit far too often. But when I really do want to take the high road, I do the above – mainly sleep. Apparently sleep isn’t something I do well, which is why I’ve been up since 3:30. Laid in bed for an hour and gave up. So when I am on the verge, I know sleeping will give me a whole new outlook.

    My #5 would be make a plan. I’m a planner or I’m a quitter. I guess I don’t have a middle ground.

    • Heather Creekmore

      Isn’t it funny how our minds buzz and sleep sometimes becomes impossible when we’re tired and need it the most? Praying rest for you!

  4. Stephanie Coker

    Wow, was this ever timely! I’ve been stretched thin, seemingly mind always “on”–and it’s been hard to rest. I stay busy as I’m involved in mentoring and encouraging prisoners who want to grow in their faith. I LOVE doing this, but have reached the point where it’s getting harder to open my Bible. Call me crazy but I’m thinking cruise. I’ve tried resting (translate: playing solitaire on my tablet–I HAVE TO WIN!) Also, I noticed that the ravens no longer deliver, so I go online to order, but there are gremlins online! Onward toward the cruise!

    • Heather Creekmore

      Absolutely! I affirm the CRUISE option!! Rest is sooo necessary . . .and yet sometimes we fight it! I get it!! Thanks for chiming in! 🙂


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