Friday, August 9, 2013

The Burnout Cure: A Review

This is my blog and the views, opinions, and experiences I express here are my own. I received both a digital and hard copy of The Burnout Cure from the author, to review honestly as part of a book tour. Fellow sponsors have contributed to the cost of our Giveaway Bundle. I have received no other compensation. 

Julie de Azevedo Hanks, MSW, LCSW
I love Fall, with its promise of a fresh start, 
a best friend,   
a desire to learn,   
an inspiring teacher,   
a subject you're passionate about, and   
a great book to curl up with after school.   

It's a perfect time to feature author Julie de Azevedo Hanks, who is celebrating the release of The Burnout Cure. 

As part of an incredible blog tour, she's answering questions about herself and Burnout. She shares an excerpt from her book you won't want to miss. 

Finally, Enter To Win an amazing Burnout Cure Book Bag! Our sponsoring bloggers Crafty Night Owls and Not Picture Perfect were thrilled to support this terrific book, the amazing author, and you our wonderful readers.

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staring into the face of Burnout
I first met Julie as a wife and mom lost wandering in a dark, intensely sad, and lonely place. 

Loving Hubby was working serious overtime, as well as traveling for work. He attended night classes, and invented on the side.

I was home full-time. Leap and Boo were wonderfully energetic. I was serving with wonderful and impressive women as a leader in Primary, a children's organization within our Church.

I realized I often felt really irritable. I felt wholly exhausted, like I had absolutely nothing left to give. I spent quite a bit of time on the verge of tears, and then I'd come apart. Each time I did, I couldn't imagine facing it one more time. I half expected to feel better after having a good cry. Instead, I felt numb. The most simple chore felt overwhelmingly difficult, and life didn't slow. It was all I could do to bathe, clothe, and feed my boys and keep them safe. I felt defeated, resentful, faithless, worthless, and undeserving. I felt like a complete failure. Rising above it felt hopeless.

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hope
The Burnout Cure allows you these moments to Pause and Reflect, and offers plenty of white space for notes and I love that. I am finding answers to questions like:
Is it possible to be a dedicated wife and mother and have a joyful personal life?

If I'm working hard and trying my best, why don't I feel happy?

Am I experiencing Burnout?
I feel like I get a personal session with Julie, in the comfort of my home.

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  Author Q&A with Julie de Azevedo Hanks
+ An excerpt from The Burnout Cure

Do you have a go-to stress reliever?
I have several go-to stress relievers! I love water so I take a bath almost every night. In the summer I try to spend as much time in and around water as I possibly can. I also take 3-4 hour naps every Sunday.

What moved you to write a book about burnout?
I've heard many clients through the years in my clinical psychotherapy practice express feeling exhausted, overwhelmed, and that despite their best efforts, "never good enough." So many good women have focused their energy on caring for others for so long that their own feelings and needs have been neglected. 

As a child I grew up learning how to be an emotional caretaker and developed some perfectionist tendencies so I have struggled with similar feelings myself. I've had to search for ways to find a healthy balance between caring for others and for myself. 

This book also grew out of a workshop I presented for a decade to Latter-day Saint women’s groups called “Preventing Emotional Burnout.” Much of the content and structure of the book came from years of presenting and discussing topics of self-care, emotional health, and relationships in this workshop. For a better part of a decade I surveyed every group I presented to so I could have statistics about their group in an attempt to normalize their life experiences and challenges.

What is a common misconception about burnout? 
When we are feeling a lack of motivation or passion in life it is easy to feel alone – that we are the only ones who are suffering, feeling inadequate, or “less than.” I think that’s a common misconception about pain and struggle in general. It seems to be our tendency as humans to feel isolated and thing that we are the only ones who are struggling.

What is a common sign/symptom that something
may be out of balance in our life?
The definition of “burnout" is a state of exhaustion and lack of motivation due to prolonged stress or frustration. It’s that persistent feeling of trying really hard but not getting the desired results. Psychologist Herbert Freudenberger, who coined the word burnout, defines it as ‘‘the extinction of motivation or incentive, especially where one’s devotion to a cause or relationship fails to produce the desired results.” I love this definition because the word devotion so accurately describes what women feel toward their families and their faith. So, a hallmark of emotional burnout is a lack of “motivation or incentive” or a sense of feeling overwhelmed in your life.

What can we do to help kick-start ourselves out of
that day-to-day/chronic exhaustion?
One thing that women can do daily is to do one “get-to” every day! Pick one thing that you’re passionate about, that fills your emotional bucket, or get you excited about your life and do it every day. As we become adults it seems our life gets filled with more and more commitments that we feel we “have-to” do and fewer and fewer things we want to do!

What is one thing you haven't done yet in life that you'd still like to do?
Oh, there are many things I’d like to do! One is to earn my PhD.

Can you share something you learned while writing this book?
Something I learned during the process of writing this book was that in order to do it, I needed to put into practice everything I discuss in the book! I had to give myself permission to say “no” to many other opportunities. I had to practice being kind to myself as I muddled through my first book writing process. I had to be acutely tuned in to my own emotions so I could navigate that delicate balance between my desire to finish the book and my families’ need to have me present and available for them. I had to practice asking for help and support from my family and others in order to carve out time to write.

What do you hope comes of writing this book?
I hope that readers will have concrete tools to think and act differently in their lives to prioritize their own needs. I hope that women will consider that what God actually expects of them may not be what they expect of themselves. I want to encourage women to consider taking good care of themselves so they can have more to offer to their loved ones, and to their God. 

In stores now
Here’s an excerpt from the book that illustrates this point.
The following analogy struck a chord with me as to why taking care of ourselves is critically important if we desire to truly lift, serve, and support others. Several years ago I was on a flight to Los Angeles to do some vocal recording sessions. I was holding my son Owen, who was then six months old. I have been on commercial flights many times in my life, and like many passengers, tend to tune out the flight attendants as they explain the safety information. With genuine concern for the young baby in my arms, I thought, I’d better listen this time.

The flight attendant started talking about what to do if there were a change in cabin pressure. She said, “The oxygen masks will drop from the ceiling and oxygen will begin to flow. Place your mask on first and then assist others, such as small children or the elderly.”

Did she really just say that—put your own mask on first? Was this new information I had somehow missed dozens of times before? As I sat in the plane holding my precious little baby, I realized that my instinct as a woman, as a parent, would be to make sure that my little son and everyone else in my row got an oxygen mask first. But this time I clearly heard the flight attendant’s message: Put on your own mask first and then assist others! I realized what she was really saying: If I don’t put my oxygen mask on first, I’ll pass out—and what good am I going to be to my six-month-old if I’m passed out on the floor?

What a great analogy for our emotional lives. As women, isn’t it true that our instinct is to respond to the needs of others, to put their needs first at the expense of our own? And then what happens?

I see a lot of exhausted, overwhelmed, confused women in my life and in my practice—women who are emotionally “passed out on the floor”—not necessarily because of all they have to do, but because of a failure to include themselves in all the nurturing they are doing. In the name of service, they nurture others first, but they do so at the expense of nurturing themselves and by neglecting their own emotional needs.

What would you say to those hesitant about
incorporating therapy into their lives? 
I would share that therapy has changed my life. My parents took me to talk to a therapist as an adolescent when I was struggling and it helped me to sort out my thoughts, feelings, and relationships. I’ve checked in with a therapist on and off ever since and influenced my desire to help other people through therapy. Most people wait too long to seek help because they are afraid that it is a sign of personal or spiritual weakness. You wouldn’t feel ashamed to go to the doctor if you thought you had an infection so why should therapy be any different?

I have to ask - 
what meal do you consistently make/order because you love it?
I lean toward meals that require very little time and very few ingredients. This summer we just purchased a new BBQ grill so we’ve been grilling fish, chicken or steak and vegetables! Simple, easy, healthy and yummy.

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enter to win
Enter To Win our amazing Burnout Cure Book Bag! Our sponsoring bloggers Crafty Night Owls and Not Picture Perfect were thrilled to support this terrific book, the amazing author, and you our wonderful readers.

Update: Rafflecopter wasn't cooperating with Julie's Facebook page. Our workaround: Like Julie's Facebook page HERE and then leave a Comment below to confirm you did, for the same number of entries. Apologies!
  

32 comments:

  1. I am passionate about reading (honestly my first instict was to say family - and I am passionate about my family - but I wanted to pick something other than the usual go to answer :) )

    I just love to read and devour 2 to 3 books a week - I love that some of my kids love to read as well - it is nice to have a safe place to escape to.

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    1. I agree it's safe to say we're all passionate about our family. I'm glad you mentioned reading :)

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  2. Making sure I get enough sleep!

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    1. If you crack that code please share :)

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    2. I have to set an alarm clock for myself and give myself a gold star when I make it to bed on time!

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  3. Replies
    1. I happen to know with certainty this is true :)

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  4. Children. Playing with them, watching them grow, learning from them.

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  5. So I couldn't figure out how to "like" her facebook page..it's not a business one. But I "follow" her on facebook now. Does that work?

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    1. Here's the link: https://www.facebook.com/juliedeazevedohanks

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    2. Hi Susan! You can subscribe to my FB profile https://www.facebook.com/juliedeazevedohanks or like my page https://www.facebook.com/JulieHanksLCSW or both. Thanks for your interest :) Happy weekend!

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  6. I'm passionate about sewing.

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  7. Cooking!!! I'm passionate about cooking for sure :)

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  8. I like Julie on FB. She's amazing.

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  9. I'm passionate about many things. Just one? I'd say informed childbirth. I wish all women understood the options available as they enter into labor and delivery.

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    1. I love that. I know that I didn't have a clue what to do when I had my first.

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  10. I'm passionate about my family, saving money and exercising. I can't go a with out those things.

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    Replies
    1. I think these are three great things to be passionate about.

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  11. Replies
    1. You are the kind of teacher we need.

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  12. I'm passionate about birth- making sure women and their partners are educated and empowered to have the best experience possible le in bringing their babies into the world.

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    1. I'm grateful because I know I had a better experience because of women like you.

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