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  • Heidi Fiedler 2:00 pm on 2019/05/20 Permalink
    Tags: , , , , , ,   

    10 Ways to Fight Burnout and the Patriarchy at the Same Time 


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    If you’ve ever worried you’re not doing enough while yet feeling stretched way too thin all at the same time, you are a human. If you’ve ever felt those contradictory symptoms of burnout and also felt forbidden to acknowledge it, you’re probably a woman. What makes Burnout: The Secret to Unlocking the Stress Cycle such a standout is the way the authors clearly identify the underlying cause of burnout. Our capitalist, patriarchal society is hard on everyone, especially women who are expected to give, give, give, never asking for a break or acknowledgement, all while wearing a smile and remaining calm in the face of impossible standards. (Just typing that sentence was dispiriting and exhausting!) The issue is worse for women of color and other minorities who live with a whole other set of impossible expectations and rules, along with being judged as women. The good news is that when we fight burnout, we fight the patriarchy. It goes beyond the idea that self care is radical and revolutionary. It’s a mindset shift that changes the way we see ourselves and the world. And perhaps one day it will change the way the world sees us. Below are 10 ways to get started.

    1. Resist the message that women need to “be nice, be strong, be polite” all the time and never have any feelings, by finding healthy ways to process your feelings. Exercise is the fastest way. (Picture yourself smashing the patriarchy for maximum effect.) Meditation, talking with friends, laughing, and cuddling with someone you trust also work. There’s power in being able to move fluidly between feeling unsafe or stressed, and then feeling calm again.
    2. Plan ahead. Anticipate problems, write lists, schedule, budget, anticipate, and execute. (You’re probably already doing this.) Now use those skills to manage the stress that comes from living with overwhelming and unrealistic expectations. Actually schedule time to process your feelings. (Go do it now!) It will help you be strong enough to keep going.
    3. Reframe challenges as being moments when you might grow and learn. It can help both in the moment and looking back. The idea is to redefine success on your own terms. Don’t let the man tell you whether you’re winning or not. Depending on your circumstances, this might be easier said than done. But the science says it truly works.
    4. Know you’re doing a hard thing makes it easier to keep going. It’s hard if everyone keeps telling you it’s no big deal. So at least give yourself the gift of acknowledging the rules are mindbendingly contradictory and expectations are impossibly high.
    5. Set specific, personal goals that are measurable, in your control, enjoyable, and you can achieve quickly. It helps you remember your own definition of success and ignore the expectations that can never be met.
    6. Recognize the moment when you swing between feeling like your goals are unattainable and being frustrated by the system. Then name it. The Nagoski sisters call it “foop.” It’s a silly word for those tricky thoughts like “I’m sure I can save this relationship, I just need to try harder. But no, it’s hopeless, they’ll never change, I’m not good enough at feelings to help them be a better person, but ugh, it’s not my job to change them! But ugh, I should change me!” (Can the Nagoskis see inside our heads???)
    7. Make the struggle meaningful by connecting it to something larger, whether that’s your legacy, spiritual calling, or connection to others. Finding your purpose or whatever it is that makes you feel like you’re doing what you’re supposed to be doing is energizing and empowering. At the very least, it can be sustaining in the face of oppression.
    8. Fight helplessness by doing something—whatever you can. Scream. Walk. Dance. Turn your pain into art. Organize your bookshelves. Just prove to yourself that you are competent and capable.
    9. Reject the billion-dollar industry that constantly encourages us to diet in order to shrink ourselves, and to otherwise doubt our bodies. Just don’t. You are beautiful. Right. This. Very. Second.
    10. Connect with people who get you and the issues you face. That might mean a very loving husband, a true friend, or the Nagoski sisters. Their book is a welcoming place after a long day, and reading it feels like the perfect antidote to burnout and centuries of accumulated injustice.

    Burnout: The Secret to Unlocking the Stress Cycle is on B&N bookshelves now.

    The post 10 Ways to Fight Burnout and the Patriarchy at the Same Time appeared first on Barnes & Noble Reads.

     
  • Heidi Fiedler 2:00 pm on 2019/05/20 Permalink
    Tags: , , , , , ,   

    10 Ways to Fight Burnout and the Patriarchy at the Same Time 


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    If you’ve ever worried you’re not doing enough while yet feeling stretched way too thin all at the same time, you are a human. If you’ve ever felt those contradictory symptoms of burnout and also felt forbidden to acknowledge it, you’re probably a woman. What makes Burnout: The Secret to Unlocking the Stress Cycle such a standout is the way the authors clearly identify the underlying cause of burnout. Our capitalist, patriarchal society is hard on everyone, especially women who are expected to give, give, give, never asking for a break or acknowledgement, all while wearing a smile and remaining calm in the face of impossible standards. (Just typing that sentence was dispiriting and exhausting!) The issue is worse for women of color and other minorities who live with a whole other set of impossible expectations and rules, along with being judged as women. The good news is that when we fight burnout, we fight the patriarchy. It goes beyond the idea that self care is radical and revolutionary. It’s a mindset shift that changes the way we see ourselves and the world. And perhaps one day it will change the way the world sees us. Below are 10 ways to get started.

    1. Resist the message that women need to “be nice, be strong, be polite” all the time and never have any feelings, by finding healthy ways to process your feelings. Exercise is the fastest way. (Picture yourself smashing the patriarchy for maximum effect.) Meditation, talking with friends, laughing, and cuddling with someone you trust also work. There’s power in being able to move fluidly between feeling unsafe or stressed, and then feeling calm again.
    2. Plan ahead. Anticipate problems, write lists, schedule, budget, anticipate, and execute. (You’re probably already doing this.) Now use those skills to manage the stress that comes from living with overwhelming and unrealistic expectations. Actually schedule time to process your feelings. (Go do it now!) It will help you be strong enough to keep going.
    3. Reframe challenges as being moments when you might grow and learn. It can help both in the moment and looking back. The idea is to redefine success on your own terms. Don’t let the man tell you whether you’re winning or not. Depending on your circumstances, this might be easier said than done. But the science says it truly works.
    4. Know you’re doing a hard thing makes it easier to keep going. It’s hard if everyone keeps telling you it’s no big deal. So at least give yourself the gift of acknowledging the rules are mindbendingly contradictory and expectations are impossibly high.
    5. Set specific, personal goals that are measurable, in your control, enjoyable, and you can achieve quickly. It helps you remember your own definition of success and ignore the expectations that can never be met.
    6. Recognize the moment when you swing between feeling like your goals are unattainable and being frustrated by the system. Then name it. The Nagoski sisters call it “foop.” It’s a silly word for those tricky thoughts like “I’m sure I can save this relationship, I just need to try harder. But no, it’s hopeless, they’ll never change, I’m not good enough at feelings to help them be a better person, but ugh, it’s not my job to change them! But ugh, I should change me!” (Can the Nagoskis see inside our heads???)
    7. Make the struggle meaningful by connecting it to something larger, whether that’s your legacy, spiritual calling, or connection to others. Finding your purpose or whatever it is that makes you feel like you’re doing what you’re supposed to be doing is energizing and empowering. At the very least, it can be sustaining in the face of oppression.
    8. Fight helplessness by doing something—whatever you can. Scream. Walk. Dance. Turn your pain into art. Organize your bookshelves. Just prove to yourself that you are competent and capable.
    9. Reject the billion-dollar industry that constantly encourages us to diet in order to shrink ourselves, and to otherwise doubt our bodies. Just don’t. You are beautiful. Right. This. Very. Second.
    10. Connect with people who get you and the issues you face. That might mean a very loving husband, a true friend, or the Nagoski sisters. Their book is a welcoming place after a long day, and reading it feels like the perfect antidote to burnout and centuries of accumulated injustice.

    Burnout: The Secret to Unlocking the Stress Cycle is on B&N bookshelves now.

    The post 10 Ways to Fight Burnout and the Patriarchy at the Same Time appeared first on Barnes & Noble Reads.

     
  • Heidi Fiedler 7:00 pm on 2019/04/30 Permalink
    Tags: , how to unplug   

    How to Have a Screen-Free Week with Your Family—And Love Every Minute of It 


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    If spring has you craving a refresh on your family time, Screen-Free Week comes at the perfect time. From April 29 through May 5, you can join families around the country as they commit to spending more time with the people they love and less time with screens that will never love them back. A week without screens may sound a little boring—or intimidating—but really it’s an invitation to daydream, reconnect, and explore. We’ve been brainstorming lots of ways to use the extra time, and share some of our favorites below. They’ll give new meaning to the word recharge.

    Exercise Your Curiosity

    Encourage kids’ natural curiosity with a new kit. Make some slime. Look at rocks under a microscope. Build a terrarium. Young scientists need time and space to observe the world, ask questions, and test their ideas. This is the week to let their curiosity go wild!

    Go Outside

    Go on a scavenger hunt, take a hike, or pack a picnic. Challenge your kids to find a favorite tree or collect specimens to research back at home (with a book, not an app!). A little green can feel so restful to our overtaxed eyes, and conversation flows more easily when everyone has a little nature in them. You might not want to go inside.

    Read to the Little Ones

    Daily reading might sound aspirational, but with a little extra time at the end of the day, it’s easy to pick up a book and share a story. Whether you’re reading a title you loved as a child or checking out a new series, you’ll be exploring the world of books together. (Bonus: Reading tends to inspire more cuddles than video games.)

    Start a Family Book Club

    You know how much fun it is to read the same book your friends are reading. So why not start a family book club? Choose a book everyone can read on their own. Then, at the end of the week, throw a mini party. Read your favorite parts aloud. Play games in character. Eat story-inspired snacks. The fun doesn’t have to stop after Screen-Free Week. Your “book club” can meet every month, and you can savor the knowledge that you’re raising a family of readers.

    Puzzle Over a Communal Puzzle

    If you’re looking for a communal activity that dials up the serene, pick out a new puzzle and invite everyone to help. Choose a scene that will get people talking, set up some snacks, and turn on a little music. Some kids may drift in and out, while others will pull up a chair and settle in for the evening. Celebrate the skills each family member brings to the puzzle process, encouraging people to swap chairs when they need a fresh start. Then enjoy the satisfaction that comes from working together.

    Play Board Games

    One night this week, get out all the board games. You might want to invite friends and families over so you can have a board game bonanza, or you might keep it chill with just you and the kids. Once you find a game everyone loves, you’ll forget about TV and tablets. Get your game face on, parents. Weeknights are about to get way sillier than they used to be.

    Get Crafty

    Grab some glitter, beads, markers, paint, and glue, and create a family crest, or something dramatic and abstract you can hang above the couch. Channel your inner artists together or on your own, creating a body of work, piece by piece. Whatever you decide to make, it’s not about the product, it’s about the process. This is the perfect week to get crafty, messy, and weird.

    Build Something

    Challenge your family to a LEGO competition or build something together. Get a nifty new set, or try something new like magnetic blocks. You’ll give your hands something to do other than push buttons or navigate a touchscreen, and you’ll have some impressive 3D proof that you spent the week screen-free. Build a TV out of LEGOS, and it might even be a good reminder to leave the screens dark next week, too.

    The post How to Have a Screen-Free Week with Your Family—And Love Every Minute of It appeared first on Barnes & Noble Reads.

     
  • Heidi Fiedler 3:00 pm on 2019/04/22 Permalink
    Tags: , , , , ,   

    3 New Books to Help You Find Meaning and Purpose 


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    What makes your days meaningful? What drives you? What are the gifts you and only you have to share with the world? In short, why are you here? Finding your why can make it easier to be creative, parent mindfully, lead at work, and generally survive the ups and downs of being human.

    In seeking these answers, we don’t have to go it alone. New books from luminaries Oprah, Melinda Gates, and David Brooks are helping me on my own quest to understand how I can make my life not just feel meaningful but mean something to others, even in the midst of political angst, illness, and all the trials of the day to day.

    Because it’s true that every one of us is here for a reason. And whether or not we understand the role we’re meant to play, we can trust it’s not just about our own personal success. We may be here to help someone struggling through tragedy. Or we may be here to create a piece of art that saves someone’s life or simply helps them feel connected and seen.

    Believing every one of us has a specific purpose is a powerful motivator, inspiring us to see our lives as narrative arcs. In her new book, The Path Made Clear, Oprah makes a strong case for seeing your own journey through this lens. She truly believes we’re all made to perform unique miracles, an idea that clears away the mundane clutter of our daily lives and demands more of us.

    If you’re like me, the idea of performing miracles is also little intimidating—but it doesn’t have to be. Oprah draws wisdom from the relationships she’s cultivated with thinkers, visionaries, and wise people from around the world. She asks questions that tease out the lessons others have learned and shares them with those of us who might be living more humble lives. In the pages of Path, Brené Brown, Lin-Manuel Miranda, Eckhart Tolle, and others offer wisdom gleaned from their own journeys. The book is organized into ten chapters that serve as guideposts for those who are struggling to evolve. And a valuable discussion of detours helps readers know they’re growing—even when life is messy or the way forward is unclear. That’s just the kind of every day miracle Oprah performs.

    Part of what makes finding meaning and purpose so difficult is there are so many ways we can seek to do it. We might do deep personal work. We might grow a family. We might lead a city through a crisis or head up a classroom. Everything from writing a book to praying in solitude can bring meaning to our lives and the wider world. Writer and commentator David Brooks has thought deeply about how to blend these commitments into a coherent whole that feels personal and full of purpose. In his new book, The Second Mountain, he encourages readers to understand their calling in life and engage with their world. His words will resonate with everyone from graduates to grandparents, but his real aim goes beyond individual readers. He hopes to infuse our entire society with more meaning and purpose.

    The book left me with a powerful image in Brooks’ description of two mountains. Those who are striving for fame, security, or validation are on a mountain they’ll never stop climbing—or if they do reach the top, they’ll realize the accomplishment feels hollow and unsatisfying. Life is really about climbing off that mountain and onto a different one, where, decision by decision, we build meaningful lives. Our days are driven less by outer markers of success and more by how we can serve others. On that second mountain, we begin a quest to focus on others through work, faith, family, and service to the community.

    There’s something so reassuring about focusing less on proving ourselves and more on what good we can do in the world. It takes the pressure off in the same way that it can be easier to socialize while hosting an event than to mingle as one of its guests. Being of service naturally gives our lives meaning.

    No one can say Melinda Gates hasn’t had an impact on the world; she’s devoted much of her life to serving in powerful ways. In The Moment of Lift, she argues that if we lift up women, we will lift the entire world, including the people most desperately in need. As she details the issues women around the world face, including everything from child marriage to harassment, it’s impossible not to feel inspired to take action. If you’re not sure where to get started, Gates offers issues that will call to those on the second mountain.  She encourages readers to join the movement in her new book, part manifesto, part memoir, and part call to action. We don’t need to be perfect to begin. We don’t need to become bodhisattvas to find purpose. We need simply to reflect, focus on what matters, and when the path curves, swerve toward meaning, service, and connection.

    Seeing this little stack of books on my bedside table reminds me to let go of the mundane and envision my goals for the next day in a deeper way. Some days I journal chapter by chapter. Other days, I dig more deeply into a specific author’s ideas. But wherever I am in the process, I feel reassured by their wise words. And I like knowing someone out there is thinking about making this world a more meaningful place, just like I am.

    The post 3 New Books to Help You Find Meaning and Purpose appeared first on Barnes & Noble Reads.

     
  • Heidi Fiedler 3:00 pm on 2019/04/22 Permalink
    Tags: , , , , ,   

    3 New Books to Help You Find Meaning and Purpose 


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    What makes your days meaningful? What drives you? What are the gifts you and only you have to share with the world? In short, why are you here? Finding your why can make it easier to be creative, parent mindfully, lead at work, and generally survive the ups and downs of being human.

    In seeking these answers, we don’t have to go it alone. New books from luminaries Oprah, Melinda Gates, and David Brooks are helping me on my own quest to understand how I can make my life not just feel meaningful but mean something to others, even in the midst of political angst, illness, and all the trials of the day to day.

    Because it’s true that every one of us is here for a reason. And whether or not we understand the role we’re meant to play, we can trust it’s not just about our own personal success. We may be here to help someone struggling through tragedy. Or we may be here to create a piece of art that saves someone’s life or simply helps them feel connected and seen.

    Believing every one of us has a specific purpose is a powerful motivator, inspiring us to see our lives as narrative arcs. In her new book, The Path Made Clear, Oprah makes a strong case for seeing your own journey through this lens. She truly believes we’re all made to perform unique miracles, an idea that clears away the mundane clutter of our daily lives and demands more of us.

    If you’re like me, the idea of performing miracles is also little intimidating—but it doesn’t have to be. Oprah draws wisdom from the relationships she’s cultivated with thinkers, visionaries, and wise people from around the world. She asks questions that tease out the lessons others have learned and shares them with those of us who might be living more humble lives. In the pages of Path, Brené Brown, Lin-Manuel Miranda, Eckhart Tolle, and others offer wisdom gleaned from their own journeys. The book is organized into ten chapters that serve as guideposts for those who are struggling to evolve. And a valuable discussion of detours helps readers know they’re growing—even when life is messy or the way forward is unclear. That’s just the kind of every day miracle Oprah performs.

    Part of what makes finding meaning and purpose so difficult is there are so many ways we can seek to do it. We might do deep personal work. We might grow a family. We might lead a city through a crisis or head up a classroom. Everything from writing a book to praying in solitude can bring meaning to our lives and the wider world. Writer and commentator David Brooks has thought deeply about how to blend these commitments into a coherent whole that feels personal and full of purpose. In his new book, The Second Mountain, he encourages readers to understand their calling in life and engage with their world. His words will resonate with everyone from graduates to grandparents, but his real aim goes beyond individual readers. He hopes to infuse our entire society with more meaning and purpose.

    The book left me with a powerful image in Brooks’ description of two mountains. Those who are striving for fame, security, or validation are on a mountain they’ll never stop climbing—or if they do reach the top, they’ll realize the accomplishment feels hollow and unsatisfying. Life is really about climbing off that mountain and onto a different one, where, decision by decision, we build meaningful lives. Our days are driven less by outer markers of success and more by how we can serve others. On that second mountain, we begin a quest to focus on others through work, faith, family, and service to the community.

    There’s something so reassuring about focusing less on proving ourselves and more on what good we can do in the world. It takes the pressure off in the same way that it can be easier to socialize while hosting an event than to mingle as one of its guests. Being of service naturally gives our lives meaning.

    No one can say Melinda Gates hasn’t had an impact on the world; she’s devoted much of her life to serving in powerful ways. In The Moment of Lift, she argues that if we lift up women, we will lift the entire world, including the people most desperately in need. As she details the issues women around the world face, including everything from child marriage to harassment, it’s impossible not to feel inspired to take action. If you’re not sure where to get started, Gates offers issues that will call to those on the second mountain.  She encourages readers to join the movement in her new book, part manifesto, part memoir, and part call to action. We don’t need to be perfect to begin. We don’t need to become bodhisattvas to find purpose. We need simply to reflect, focus on what matters, and when the path curves, swerve toward meaning, service, and connection.

    Seeing this little stack of books on my bedside table reminds me to let go of the mundane and envision my goals for the next day in a deeper way. Some days I journal chapter by chapter. Other days, I dig more deeply into a specific author’s ideas. But wherever I am in the process, I feel reassured by their wise words. And I like knowing someone out there is thinking about making this world a more meaningful place, just like I am.

    The post 3 New Books to Help You Find Meaning and Purpose appeared first on Barnes & Noble Reads.

     
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