Book Review | Burnout – The Secret to Unlocking the Stress Cycle

Book Synopsis:

The gap between what it’s really like to be a woman and what people expect women to be is a prime cause of burnout.

Why? Because we exhaust ourselves trying to close the space between the two. It’s time to stop thinking we are not good enough or doing enough. It’s time we learnt not just how to handle stress itself but how to manage what is actually feeding the stress in our lives. Courageous, compassionate, entertaining and eye-opening, Burnout is the science-based book all women need to take back control and end the cycle of overwhelm.

About the author:

Emily Nagoski is the New York Times bestselling author of Come As You Are. She has a PhD in Health Behavior with a minor in Human Sexuality from Indiana University, and a MS in Counseling, also from IU, including a clinical internship at the Kinsey Institute Sexual Health Clinic. She has been a sex educator for twenty years and currently works as the inaugural Director of Wellness Education at Smith College.

Amelia Nagoski is a conductor with a DMA in conducting from the University of Connecticut. An assistant professor and coordinator of music at Western New England university, she regularly presents educational sessions discussing application of communications science and psychological research for audiences of other professional musicians, including ‘Beyond Burnout Prevention: Embodied Wellness for Conductors’.

“The quality of our lives, day to day, is measured by our freedom to choose to stay or leave.”

Emily and Amelia Nagoski, Burnout

Hey There! Before we proceed to the book review, we’d like you to know that if quotes and phrases amaze you, then you’re just like us. And to share our joy of thought-provoking phrases, we’ve compiled a list of the Top Quotes we enjoyed in this book in our previous post Best Quotes | Burnout – The secret to unlocking the stress cycleGo ahead and pump up the reader in you!

As readers ourselves, we also understand the sudden rush you feel when a quote binds you in the heart. And we would never want you to hold back from showing the world this is what you believe in! We want you to feel as connected to the book as you can and on that note, we’ve got your back. Find shareable graphics for these quotes under Book Quotes | Burnout – The secret to unlocking the stress cycle and let your love flow on tweets, pins and stories. We’d love to know that we helped you share something that connected with you, keep us posted!

Do this before you proceed:

Take a minute and reflect back on those moments when you’ve felt exhausted. Review those moments when your thoughts felt like they were too much. Feeling like everything is unevenly spread across the vastness of your brain. Trying hard to compartmentalize. Unsure of what to prioritize and which actions to give a jump-start to. Remind yourself that you’ve been through this before. You have the power to distribute energy across your thoughts. You are in control of what you think.

Th experience of reading Burnout:

Burnout is a book that is extremely close to my heart. To give you context, I was extremely disturbed with trying to readjust the imbalance in my work-life. It was around my 22nd birthday when I felt the instability to such an extent, I could envision a breakdown coming soon. That was exactly when I discovered Burnout. It’s not so much about handling stress that helped me, it was more about understanding where the stress evolves from. Let me take you through everything that I totally loved about this book (absolutely biased towards this title hereafter!).

The book caught my attention from introduction to conclusion. There is enough detail in the introduction and initial chapters to carry you through to the end. The content was highly informative and yet, little to zero usage of jargons. The best part of my experience was not having to focus on scientific terms and explanations. Everything was minimalist and simple, explained to you in terms that is adaptable. The introduction itself captured my attention wherein the authors talk about the scientific caveats. In other words, they explain why being scientifically-backed does not make every fact universally true. What may be true for me might not be true for someone else. And it pleased me to see this attentiveness towards others needs to understand why a concept isn’t resonating to their individual situations in life.

The initial content covers very basic but extremely important things that you must absolutely know before you proceed to understand the guidance in the book. It helps you understand how stress works, what is happening to your body and how it is affected by stress. It also walks you through why we get stuck and how to complete our stress cycles. I love how there’s a scoop on setting incremental goals for yourself and deciding when to give up.

As you read about tackling your stress cycle, the book suggests “moving your body” as one of the many approaches covered in the content. I was glad about the fact that they simultaneously emphasized on using it simply to complete your cycle. They highlight the importance of consciously reminding yourself that body-positivity and self-acceptance is significant. Do not let “moving your body” or exercise negate your body positivity experience.

There’s a reference in the book to “The Madwoman in the Attic” from Jane Eyre. It talks about the metaphor of women’s entrapment in dichotomous roles of “angel” and “demon”. The book mentions how we all have that madwoman inside of us who remind us of who we are not. It reiterates on the concept that you always have this voice in you head telling you what you lack; constantly reminding us that we are not enough. There’s specifically one phrase that hit me the hardest:

She’s the skinnier, younger-looking, richer, better-dressed, prettier-by-social-standards, lives-in-the-amazing-and-much-larger-house-next-door-with-the-perfect-lawn version of me. But I know (and I have to keep reminding myself all of the time) that deep down somewhere in her, she is sadder and lonelier, and doesn’t have much more that what is on her outside, than me.

Burnout, Emily and Amelia Nagoski

We all have different standards set for ourselves, but we don’t have to be our own critic. It’s okay to have a voice in your head because it has kept you surviving for years now. It has helped you stay sane until now, but this voice needs to slowly let go of you. It’s important that we realize that we are holding ourselves back with self-criticism. We are the perfect versions of ourselves, just let the voice in your head recognize this.

The author says, “We know that with greater personal power comes greater personal responsibility, and we’re afraid when we have the greater power, we won’t be able to deal with those greater responsibilities.” Isn’t that true for all of us? So many of us only look back to all of those times when we’ve held ourselves behind. The only thoughts laundering in our heads saying what after I succeed at this. Constantly asking ourselves if we’re ready to face what comes after. In the long run, we only regret being reluctant towards taking the first step because we are unconvinced of going further.

Burnout truly turned my life around, helped me look forward rather than behind. It is more women-centric and revolves more around the feminine perspective of a burnout journey. However, it also reviews universal factors pertaining to stress-control. In my opinion, this book is majorly for women looking to understand and deal with their stress cycles. Nevertheless, this is a book for the working population as well and either way, it would help you understand how to deal with stress in an amazingly effective way. This has been a must-read for me.

How the book made me feel:

Feels like a fresh start to me. It’s been a releasing experience for me, trying to let go of all my anxiety. I was struggling with work-life balance when this book found its way to me. If there was one word I could use to describe how this book made me feel, it would be liberated. I feel like I can let go of quite a lot of my stressors at this point. Moreover, I cannot begin to describe how it sets me free from my bondage of thoughts. It feels like I have been more open to being brave. I would love for everybody to have that for themselves.

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To make your reading experience better, we have curated a few resources for you.

Follow the link to find our list of Top Quotes from this book in our earlier post titled Best Quotes: Burnout – The Secret to Unlocking the Stress Cycle.

If you would like to spread your love and joy for this book on your socials, you can also find amazing shareable graphics for the same under Resources.

Links to purchase this title: Paperback | Hardcover | Kindle | Audible

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