Burnout: The Secret to Unlocking the Stress Cycle by Emily Nagoski and Amelia Nagoski

My Rating: 5 stars

My doctor suggested I read Burnout: The Secret to Unlocking the Stress Cycle during my winter break since I’ve been struggling so much with my mental health during my PhD program. And I’m so glad she did because this was a game changer for me! Though many of the strategies can be used by anyone, the Nagoskis specifically tailor this book to women and the daily stress we face. Some people may find that they know all the information presented in this book, but for me it was full of new information, strategies, and vocabulary to discuss my stress.

The most important thing I got out of this book is that dealing with stress and dealing with the stressors aren’t the same thing. So just because I’ve finished the paper I’m writing doesn’t mean that the stress built up over it is gone. The Nagoskis do a fantastic job explaining how the stress cycle works and providing a variety of doable ways to complete it. These are probably the most helpful things in the book, and they come right at the very beginning. There is no slogging through a bunch of background information to get to the useful part.

The second half of the book deals more with the reasons women have all this stress. I found this equally as useful due to the discussion of Human Giver Syndrome. I hadn’t heard of it before, but it turns out I’ve been seeing it my whole life. Honestly, I think the whole book would be worth reading to just learn about this. Many women will probably find it relates to their lives, and just realizing it’s existence can help them break away from it and reduce stress.

I also appreciated how accessible the book is. The authors are knowledgeable and give lots of information, but it never feels dry. It’s not the kind of book you need a PhD in science or psychology just to understand the terms being used. The Nagoskis bring things to a level any ordinary person can understand. The tone is conversational, and they reference current major female figures and pop culture. It’s nonfiction that is easy to read, which isn’t always easy to find.

Overall, Burnout is a book that I think most any woman can benefit from. It’s easy to read and understand, and the authors have some excellent insights that I’ve found incredibly helpful.

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