Whether you feel like you're dealing with a bout of burnout, long-term fatigue, or a feeling of languishing, you're not alone. Stress and anxiety are on the rise, and burnout is a hot topic in the workplace and at home right now. Burnout is not a very specific issue: You might be physically, mentally, or emotionally burned out — or, more likely, some level of all three. Fortunately, there are some great books offering tangible tips to get through challenging times, recognize early warning signs, and feel more like yourself again.
Harvard Business Review Guide to Beating Burnout by the Harvard Business Review
This four-hour audiobook is a great resource if you're worried you're starting to feel signs of burnout. It first explains exactly what burnout is (chronic stress that never lets up), then gets into some of the ways to recognize it before it becomes a problem in the workplace, plus how to manage it if it does happen. This guide is very much work-focused, with a goal of drawing more out of your team at the office, so it may not address feelings of burnout that have seeped into your social life. Since most of our burnout issues are partially work-related — that's where the term officially originated — it's a good place to start to gain a better understanding of the topic.
In It for the Long Haul: Overcoming Burnout & Passion Fatigue as Social Justice Change Agents by Kathy Obear
You may not work in social justice, but if you work in a position where you're always serving others (looking at you, teachers and nurses) or you spend free hours volunteering and doing work as an activist, this practical, short manual tackles the topic of helping yourself so you can help others. Many of us fall into the trap of helping everyone around us while ignoring our own needs until it's too late and we're deep in burnout territory. But author Obear argues that if you're running on empty, you won't be able to serve anyone at your full capacity, and a bit of time for self-care makes you more effective in the long run.
Peak Performance: Elevate Your Game, Avoid Burnout, and Thrive With the New Science of Success Snapshot of the book by Brad Stulberg and Steve Magness
This Snapshot takes 10 minutes to read, but it covers the highlights of Peak Performance, a fantastic guide to avoiding burnout across your work, social life, relationships, and health/athletic performance. Magness and Stulberg aren't sharing any 'life hacks,' they're sharing no-nonsense information about how to ensure you're taking care of yourself by fueling, moving your body, and sleeping, but also making sure the work you're doing (for income and for hobbies) is satisfying and helping you meet your ultimate 'why.' (You can also listen to the entire Peak Performance audiobook)
The Happiness Track: How to Apply the Science of Happiness to Accelerate Your Success by Emma Seppälä
This might sound obvious, but it turns out that the happier we are, the less likely we are to be burned out. In The Happiness Track, Seppälä explores what it means to get off of the 'success' track you thought you had to be on, and, instead, get on a track that brings you to what makes you happy, personally. She argues that burnout is often caused by a disconnect between what we think we should be doing versus what makes us fulfilled and happy — even if it isn't what society expects. She uses the latest scientific research to back up her arguments, and whether you make big changes or not, this book changes the way you look at your life.
Stressaholic: 5 Steps to Transform Your Relationship with Stress by Heidi Hanna
This may sound a little wild, but many of us simply can't help being stressed — in fact, we almost crave it. In Stressaholic, Hanna explores our strange relationship with stress and why we can't seem to get off the hamster wheel of our stress-filled daily lives. Stress may not be a bad thing entirely, but it only helps us grow if it's matched with adequate rest. Hanna shares simple, tactical tips for decreasing our dependence on stress in a no-nonsense, easy-to-read way that will have you rethinking your regular multitasking habit.
The Energy Paradox: What to Do When Your Get-Up-and-Go Has Got Up and Gone by Steven R. Gundry, MD
Author of the bestselling Plant Paradox series is tackling long-term stress and fatigue in The Energy Paradox. Gundry believes it's not all in our heads: In fact, for many of us, our guts may be partially to blame. A malfunctioning microbiome (common in Americans eating a standard American diet) may be causing exhaustion, brain fog, and even anxiety and depression. But you can feel better. In The Energy Paradox, Gundry lists lifestyle and nutrition changes to help combat the potential physical causes of fatigue. Even if you think your burnout is caused by a pain-in-the-butt boss, it's possible healing your body may make that situation more tolerable.
Get Your Life Together(ish): A No-Pressure Guide for Real-Life Self-Growth by Julia Dellitt
As someone who regularly feels signs of burnout, I found this book to be a practical reminder that taking control of the controllable parts of my life — and letting go of the stuff I can't control — is a far better way to approach every day. Get Your Life Together(ish) contains 50 separate challenges ranging in level of ease and time required to make them happen. Sometimes, taking control of a tiny part of your life — finally getting in that weekly yoga class or waking up just a tiny bit earlier to enjoy reading a book before life gets hectic — can make a huge difference in your overall feeling of control in your life.