There are probably more items on that glaring to-do list than are necessary and in reality, more than humanly possible. But somehow it continues to grow, whether out of obligation or fear of letting others down.
So why do women, especially Latter-day Saint women, feel the need to bite off more than they can chew?
In her book "The Burnout Cure: An Emotional Survival Guide for Overwhelmed Women" (Covenant Communications, $13.99), Julie de Azevedo Hanks address this topic — and much, much more. As an award-winning performing songwriter, mother of four and owner of Salt Lake City-based Wasatch Family Therapy, Hanks knows a thing — or six — about helping women find emotional stability through her "burnout cures":
Feel and express a full range of emotions. As members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, women (and men) are taught to be Christlike. In doing so, Hanks says, sometimes women suppress certain emotions for fear of being disobedient. This first self-help chapter invites readers to pause and reflect on emotions that may be difficult to express, with the coupling encouragement to find ways to truly feel a strong range of emotions.
Give yourself permission to say an inspired “no.” Possibly the most valuable chapter in this book, women everywhere will relate to the reasons why saying "no" is so difficult, and better yet, how to actually say "no."
Do your emotional family history. Knowing family traits, attitudes and previous mental health issues are essential in figuring out one’s own emotional state. This chapter is chock full of reflective fill-in-blank questions.
Take responsibility for your own happiness. One of the highlights here is Hanks’ call to chase after the things in life that excite — rekindle childhood dreams or fulfill a life list.
Practice being kind to yourself. Another home-run chapter, Hanks has readers list 10 things they like about themselves and 10 things they don’t like. Here women learn how to accept compliments, have positive self-talk and a reminder that “God wants a perfect heart.”
Learn to ask for and accept help. Emotionally burned-out women don’t always ask for help — but they should. Applying the Atonement and seeking professional counseling are two ways to avoid burnout.
Designed as a basic self-help book, this 135-page guide can do wonders for women everywhere. With 20 years' experience counseling LDS women, Hanks includes just the right amount of scripture and an even better dose of validation, information and inspired guidance.