Burnout – The Key to Unlocking the Stress Cycle authors Emily and Amelia Nagoski

I recently read the book “Burnout – The Secret to Unlocking the Stress Cycle” written by Emily Nagoski, PhD and Amelia Nagoski DMA.  This is a very interesting book sharing great insights to unlock the stress cycle.  There has been more conversation on how many are struggling with Burnout.

My definition of Burnout is:

Being exhausted on every level.  The joy you once felt is gone and you feel isolated and alone. It is difficult to concentrate, connect and build relationships as that all takes energy you are unable to find, no matter how hard you try.

Some themes throughout the book:

  • Make rest and sleep a priority
  • Look at ways to pause and relax
  • Look honestly at where your time is going
  • Start saying no more than yes to make you a priority
  • Support and trust yourself as you would a dear friend
  • Find the beautiful intersections to connect with others and ask for help
  • Change the conversation with yourself and be kind and gentle
  • Consider your relationship with technology
  • Incorporate movement in your life
  • Use planful problem solving to manage frustrations within your control and positive reappraisal for the stressors that are out of your control
  • Look at ways to relax such as a walking meditation, learning to play an instrument or join a choir
  • Consider ways that you can make different choices to make your life better
  • Embrace the stepping stone of joy that you are enough

“Connection — with friends, family, pets, the divine, etc – is as necessary as food and water.  Emily Nagoski and Amelia Nagoski.

A few ideas to consider:

Do an audit of your life capturing where your time is going.  This is outlined very well in Burnout. I highly encourage you to capture in a simple spreadsheet where your time is going and with that information and identify your true priorities.  Then create a list of these true priorities and put it in a place you see each and everyday.

Wellness is the freedom to move fluidly through the cycles of being human.  Wellness is thus not a state of being; it is a state of action.  Emily Nagoski and Amelia Nagoski

Also consider the pebbles that may be impacting your ability to thrive in all parts of your life.

  • Do you have the right technology to thrive professionally?
  • Are the policies at your organization impeding or enhancing your ability to thrive?
  • Are you working with less than professional colleagues who arrive late to meetings, take over the conversation and impede decision making?
  • Do you have someone you can delegate all you are juggling, personally and professionally to schedule some downtime?
  • Is there an expectation in your professional life to always be on?
  • Are you thinking about work away from work?
  • Do you have dedicated space for your professional life in your home?
  • Can you develop your own schedule that works best for the harmonization of your personal and professional life while investing in how you connect with others?

Choose a time to disconnect from all technology to bring your day to a close and set yourself up for a good night’s sleep.

We know the importance of eating nourishing food.  Taking the time to rest, relax and re-charge is just as important.

In “Burnout” the authors, who are sisters, refer to our negative self talk as the “madwoman in the attic”. The greater our criticism of ourselves the more we need to turn to that critical part of ourselves with compassion and kindness.

One of the many complex challenges is the harder we push ourselves to do more and continue to engage in negative self talk the harder it is to move forward and connect with others.

As we would reach out to a dear friend, and connect with kindness perhaps we can learn to do the same thing with ourselves.

The biggest gift we can give ourselves is to careful consider what we will say a thoughtful yes to.

We can change the conversations with ourselves to be kind and gentle.

If you feel time starved and reading another book feels like too much, the authors end each chapter with a summary, tl;dr (too long; didn’t read).

Be kind. Be patient.  Take good care.  Be nourished in all you do.

Photo credit:  Sharon K. Summerfield.  First photo in Central Park, Burnaby, BC Canada; second photo sunset at Horne Lake, BC Canada.

At The Nourished Executive we coach business professionals and share strategies to invest in wellbeing, manage stress and prevent burnout. Our founder, Sharon K. Summerfield,  is a holistic nutritionist and certified breath coach, with an extensive business background.  We have a strong commitment to giving back, investing in local community creating space for all students to consider careers in construction, science, technology, engineering and math

Add A Comment