This week I re-visited David Murray’s book “Reset”.

I first read it in the summer (ah the summer!) with the staff team at church and found it helpful in reflecting on my tiredness and how to make changes in order to keep going.  This week I decided to take another look at it.

In the book, David Murray outlines 10 “Reset Bays” to use to help you think through unhelpful patterns and habits which might cause burnout.  Here they are in brief summary:

Repair Bay 1 Reality Check – consider really how you’re doing. Murray gives a list of symptoms to work through: physical warning lights, mental warning lights, emotional warning lights, relational warning lights, vocational warning lights, moral warning lights, spiritual warning lights and pastoral warning lights.

Repair Bay 2 Review – similar to the previous chapter but more detail on physical and emotional signs of burnout and the causes of burnout – he’s got some helpful nuance here about the various causes pointing out that it’s not just busyness but also grief, stress, pressure etc. which cause the problems.

Repair Bay 3 – Rest – a thoughtful theology of sleeping and what it says about our human-ness and God’s god-ness.

Repair Bay 4 – Re-create – wisdom on exercise and physical health – did you know that “men who spend more than twenty-three hours per week sitting have a 64 percent greater chance of dying from heart disease than those who sit for eleven hours a week or less.” Scary right!

Repair Bay 5 – Relax – a list of ‘speed bumps’ to slow down your mind and help you switch off: sensible stuff about social media intake, reading, as well as things you might do less often – like time away by yourself.

Repair Bay 6 – Rethink – a really helpful chapter on identity and understanding who we are: “…let’s try to recover our stolen identity by rebuilding it on scriptural foundations… by doing so, we change not just our thoughts for the better, but our feelings, our words, and our actions too. But let’s also anticipate the indescribable prospect of being like Jesus. If we add to our identity, “I am going to be like Jesus!” it will have a tremendous present impact on us because “everyone who has this hope in Him purifies himself, just as He is pure” 1 John 3:3.”

Repair Bay 7 – Reduce – leaning on some research from Harvard here Murray contrasts the summoned life vs the well-planned life – and walks through the dangers of not planning which can lead to over-commitment. You can read the article he refers to here.

Repair Bay 8 – Refuel – mostly about eating well and looking after your diet – turns out if you eat rubbish you’ll probably feel rubbish.

Repair Bay 9 – Relate – relationships with friends/wife/children and church family. Helpfully Murray walks through the need for good friendship with the danger of being over-committed and pulled in lots of different directions. He explains how being too busy, too selfish, too functional, too proud, too safe, too superficial, and too brainwashed about masculinity prevent blokes having helpful relationships with friends.

Repair Bay 10 – Resurrection – Murray ends with the hope for the burnout, not simply future resurrection but renewal every day as we apply the gospel to our burnout.

If you’re struggling, or even if you’re not, I’d recommend the book to you. And while this book is pitched particularly at men, there is now a new counterpart book aimed at women called “Refresh”.