cover image The Cure for Burnout: How to Find Balance and Reclaim Your Life

The Cure for Burnout: How to Find Balance and Reclaim Your Life

Emily Ballesteros. Dial, $28 (272p) ISBN 978-0-593-59631-9

Corporate trainer Ballesteros provides sensible and informed guidance for those tackling “exhaustion, stress, and misalignment (with the direction your life is heading in) for an extended period of time.” Though often glorified by a workaholic Western culture, burnout impairs mental and physical health, according to the author, and leaves sufferers stuck in “survival mode.” As a result, they lose sight of their long-term goals, undercutting the “success” their obsessive work was meant to achieve. Ballesteros encourages readers to take stock of the condition’s insidious symptoms (impaired concentration, irritability, and chronic pain) and improve time and stress management through such practices as adopting a “restorative” hobby to lower levels of the stress hormone cortisol. Elsewhere, she digs into the ways in which social pressure promotes burnout, noting that people-pleasing is a particular culprit for women, who are raised to “anticipate others’ needs before daring to have their own.” Ballesteros’s corporate coaching experience comes in handy with plenty of solid time-saving tips (create email templates, group similar to-do items together to avoid task-switching) and potent insights, though the emphasis is on the working professional—those burnt out by caretaking duties, for example, may lack sufficient time for self-care or the option to set cut-and-dried personal boundaries. Still, readers will be heartened by Ballesteros’s forceful pushback against a culture that celebrates running on empty. Agent: Katherine Latshaw, Folio. (Feb.)