On The Brink Of Burnout? Some Books and Resources to Help.
Updated: Dec 30, 2019
Does it feel like your list of things to do is a mile long and never gets done? Well, I hear you as sometimes mine does too!
In this crazy, 24/7 'always on' world, it's hard to find the right balance in your life between things you love to do and obligations.
You take care of your kids, your parents, your dog, your boss (yes, sometimes the dog comes before the boss!), your team, your house, your car and your friends – but somehow taking care of yourself doesn’t seem to ever get on your list.
Your back aches, your shoulders are tight, you have to drag yourself out of bed in the morning.
And anyone who suggests you try sticking to decaf is in danger of being punched.
You know you should eat better, work less and get more exercise – but by the end of the day, your just so damn tired you can’t find the energy.
You’re on the brink of burnout.
I know, because I've been there.
And working with my own personal coach, I learned more about how stress was impacting my body, my health, my relationships and my performance at work.
Over a period of six years, (ok, I'm a slow learner!) I spent time learning how to relax, let go of my worry habit, take back control of my diary, eat better and take care of my body.
Not to say I don't still have my sleepless nights or IBS flare-ups - but they're fewer.
So today, I'm sharing some of my favourite books and resources that helped me on my journey.
I love this woman - her work has literally changed my mind about believing my own stressful thoughts. She teaches a simple free process that anyone with an open mind can use. The work allows you to question and release the thoughts in your head that are causing you stress.
Here's one of my favourite videos where she walks through the work on the stressful thought 'I want my mother to be happy' - I know it hit home with me and I'm pretty sure most of us can relate to this thought. Loads more videos on her website helping people through stressful thoughts about parenting, death, shame, health and more- find the situation that's right for you and engage with it.
Sometimes overwhelm and stress come in the form of other people.
Come on, admit it, trying to deal with your bully boss, negative co-worker or the 'know-it-all' school committee chairwoman, can be pretty frustrating.
One of the most useful books I've come across in these situations is Dealing with People You Can't Stand - Rick Brinkman. And while the title still does make me laugh - it is a very serious and practical guide to dealing with some of the worst human behaviours out there.
With a focus on understanding the behaviour and having a clear action plan to tackle it - Rick Brinkman helps you create simple strategies that work much better than storming out of the room in a huff. You can check out a quick video with tips from the book here.
If you're looking to find some more free time in your life, then a must-read is Off the Clock by Laura Vanderkam. Laura is a time management expert and the strategies in this book can help if your life feels out of control.
She encourages you to really look at how you spend your time each day and each week and make sure you prioritise your personal happiness, relationships and career goals.
You can take back ownership of your calendar. Try blocking out time, delegating meetings and scheduling in breaks. Need some instant inspiration? You can check out Laura's TED Talk here.
If your stress expresses itself with chronic pain, then I highly recommend picking up this fantastic book. Healing Back Pain: The Mind-Body Connection - Dr. John Sarno
Dr. John Sarno wrote this back in 1996 and certainly faced some controversy and critics as he described how many painful conditions including back pain, neck pain and migraines are rooted in repressed emotions and can be successfully treated without surgery, drugs or physical measures.
Research over the last 25 years has definitively proved a link between stress and chronic pain which I'm sure the hundreds of patients cured by Dr. Sarno will attest to.
And finally, if you're looking for a few books that can just lighten your mood or bring a new perspective to life - then either of the following are great options.
Breakfast with Buddha - Roland Merullo - I am always searching for a book like this: funny, wise, philosophical, magical, but real at the same time. A simple story of a road trip - with a straight forward, pragmatic man and a Buddhist 'guru'. Light-hearted and insightful, a great book to challenge your thinking and open your own mind.
A Gift From The Sea - Anne Morrow Lindbergh - this small (130 pages) classic book was originally published in 1955 is a collection of musings from Ann on parenting, relationships, marriage and ageing. Calling on wisdom from her 45 year marriage to Charles Lindberg and tragic kidnapping and murder of her 20-month old, first born son, Anne writes beautifully and poignantly about being a wife, mother and woman in the 1950's.
Her wisdom is still relevant today whether you're 18 and off to university or 65 and ready to retire. Want to learn more about this fascinating woman? You can also pick up her biography here.
I hope that these books and resources intrigue you, inspire you and can help you to explore new ways balance your life - before you find yourself on the brink of burnout.
Trying to keep up with all the things in your life is hard work and can be isolating. But you're not alone. Many people have walked this path and found solutions that worked for them.
Keep exploring until you find the solutions that work for you.
And if you find you need some 1-2-1 support - I'm here to help.