Book Title: The Burnout Cure: An Emotional Survival Guide for Overwhelmed Women
Author: Julie De Azevedo Hanks, MSW, LCSW
Theme: The overworked, over-scheduled women are needing to reflect on how to make needed changes before experiencing an emotional burn out!
Here are a few of my favorite sections of the book and my thoughts about what I’m able to take in and apply in my life. As a wife, mother, full-time employee, business-woman who runs two small businesses, community service volunteer, church callings— I understand living daily with one toe in Overwhelmed-ville. Matter of fact, sometimes I believe I’m the mayor there. While I thrive on staying active and busy, I honestly see times where my overwhelmed schedule leaves me little time with the things that truly matter. Lately, and just being completely honest, I have felt the fiery darts of the adversary try to seek tough blows to me as a person, wife and mother. The three divine roles he would love to destroy. But, I’m to smart for him AND this book is to timely to help me make the needed adjustments in my life and bring balance back into the realm of possibility!
1. Learning to Say No: This is perhaps one of my biggest weaknesses. I have always been the “do it all” personality. I am not sure if it is because I try to be a people-pleaser or because I know that if I don’t do it, then no one else will. Then I get worked up emotionally about how I’m going to be able to fit one more thing on my plate and accomplish this new task. Stress and anxiety take over and I (and sometimes my family) pay a price for what could’ve been prevented had I had the courage to say NO! I know that I am not alone in this either!
The author helps illustrate that instead of saying a “yes” or a “no”– that we offer a “let me think about it and get back to you” type of response so we can get out of the moment of being asked and seeing the sappy face of the person needing our assistance and give us time to evaluate our schedules to see if we really can do what they’re looking for help with and not overload ourselves. That is being emotionally honest with ourselves- something I’ve never considered before.
I also recently just came across this quote from President James E Faust,
“Women today are being encouraged by some to have it all—generally, all simultaneously: money, travel, marriage, motherhood, separate careers in the world. …“Doing things sequentially—filling roles one at a time at different times—is not always possible, as we know, but it gives a woman the opportunity to do each thing well in its time and to fill a variety of roles in her life. A woman … may fit more than one career into the various seasons of life. She need not try to sing all of the verses of her song at the same time.”
In a world that seems increasingly demanding on time and so many of us women are pulled in a myriad of directions, juggling home life, raising a family, serving in the community and church, extra curricular activities and the list can be endless. Many women (and I’m included) work hard to do it all (and then-some) and you will eventually (if you haven’t already) find yourself BURNT OUT! The author provides much-needed to help to learn to say “no”, being responsible for our own happiness and learning how to be kind to ourselves. This book is timely for all of us women who are feeling close to or experiencing our own burn out!
I learned in The Burnout Cure that “saying no is an important boundary for self-care and is crucial to preventing burnout.” I have never thought about saying “no” as a type of boundary. It will be challenging, but I look forward to creating this new boundary in my life.
2. Take Responsibility for Your Own Happiness: Mrs. De Azevedo Hanks shares a reminder from President Dieter F. Uchtdorf that “happiness is our birthright.” YOU have the RIGHT to be happy! How crazy is that?! A part of happiness is being able to do things that you enjoy and that keep you growing, developing, experiencing, etc. How many of us have a hard time remembering when we did something for ourselves—GUILT-FREE? Taking on a new goal/challenge can give you some YOU time- in which the author states, “taking responsibility for your own happiness is actually a gift to yourself…” She also talking about the differences between self-selfish-selfless and when meeting our own needs is appropriate and mandatory. If we’re not meeting our own needs, our needs are most likely not going to get met. You will learn what it means to “Follow Your Own Bliss!”
3. Practice Being Kind to Yourself: Are you the type of woman that has found perfection in treating others with kindness, but is mostly our own worst enemy? GUILTY (for me, at least!) If we talked with others like we talk to ourselves, would we have many friends? I read a quote not to long ago that talked about those horrible doubts that come into your mind about how tall/short/fat/skinny and on and on were. The quote then joked about when those thoughts come into your mind, as we know the source of them is Lucifer, that we kindly remind him– well, at least I have a body!
I have a 2-year-old girl who LOVES to look at herself in the mirror…especially after putting on any dress or tutu. We constantly fill her mind with praises and compliments on always being so pretty and special. I know that she believes us- she fully trusts Mom & Dad. I know that my Father in Heaven looks down at me standing in the mirror and is saddened by the things I tell myself. How I criticize the temple he gave to me for my body. If we could be kinder to ourselves, what a difference that would make. Women are under attack CONSTANTLY. We should be our very best ally.
This section of the book helped me to be more reflective in my thought process– something I needed a LOT!
Summary: There isn’t one section of this book that didn’t speak straight to my mind and heart. We do fill our lives with endless tasks, etc, but we don’t need to be everything all at once– we don’t need to sing all of the verses to our song at one time. If I keep being too busy, I will miss the most incredible small moments of my children’s lives. I will feel increased stress, pressure, anger, etc– and those around me will be affected.
I strongly urge all women to find the time— yes, take time for YOU — and read this amazing book. The author has written in a very easy-to-follow language with eye-opening stats and questions for each of us to ponder about where we are in life in regards to the various topics discussed.
At first I thought— how can I possibly fit reading into my crazy life schedule for this book review– and now I would say, how can I not possibly fit this in. The message is timely. It is clear and it is important. I look forward to continue to implement many aspects of this book in my life– and hopefully walk away from being burned out.
It’s time– and it’s time for me!
Recommendation: MUST READ. This book is a must-read book for any woman who finds herself barely hanging on— which I can no doubt feel like is MANY of us! Take some time, find a place to really read and ponder this book and DO NOT feel guilty about it— EVER!
*I’d love to hear your comments and thoughts after reading this book. Please share them with me!
As I found this book packed with so many important teachings and insights and how it was helping me– I asked that we could also give a copy to one Family Home Evenings readers!