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10 Soft Life Books for Burnout – SheKnows


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The data is clear: Burnout is a women’s issue. And a big one. 

New research from Future Forum that surveyed workers in six countries found that workplace stress is at an all-time high — and that 46 percent of women are burned out. Gallup’s poll numbers show that the gender gap in burnout levels since 2019 has spiked by more than 100 percent. Yet most of us feel pressure not to pause to take care of ourselves, but to keep doing more and more.

The fact that a woman’s work is never done is not news, especially to those of us who remember the world before we talked about “work-life blend.”  Now, in a world where information and commodities are easier than ever to come by, we’re overstimulated and exhausted. In a society structured around Zoom calls, Facetime, TikToks, DMs, and the intricacies of a billion apps, many of us are expected to always be “on,” and we’re longing for a moment to power off and rest. 


The impacts of chronic stress can go far beyond your work life: It can lead to depression and anxiety, digestive problems, and headaches, according to the American Psychological Association. Being stressed all the time can also raise your blood pressure, interfere with your sleep, and cause you to have trouble concentrating. Self-care can only take us so far when we’re recovering from burnout; the real solution involves figuring out a more sustainable way to live our lives.


If you opened this article because you’re tired — physically, emotionally, or mentally — the good news is that it isn’t too late to scrap the rest of your resolutions for the year and trade them in for two words: slowing down. 

These 10 books ranging from memoirs, to political manifestos, to philosophical musings will help you let go of the expectation to do it all and embrace the possibility that there’s more to life than productivity hacks, trending topics, and whatever it is that just made your phone ping. 



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