Empathy educator and researcher, Kristen Donnelly, PhD, in collaboration with history and anthropology expert, Erin Hinson, PhD, announce the upcoming release of their book titled ‘The Culture of Burnout’. Set to launch in October, the book delves deep into the complicated aspects of burnout culture in the workplace, exposing the potential for burnout in individuals and societies' glorification of these concerns.
As co-founders of Abbey Research, Kristen and Erin bring together their diverse expertise to shed light on the prevalent issue of burnout across various sectors, ranging from manufacturing to education, and offer invaluable insights into employee engagement and retention.
The book presents a compelling argument that the country has become entrenched in a burnout culture, where individuals face an inherent risk of succumbing to the detrimental effects of exhaustion. Celebrating burnout has become an unfortunate norm, leading to negative consequences for individuals and society at large.
The genesis of this profound exploration in the book came from Kristen Donnelly's personal experiences as an expatriate. Upon returning home after a significant period abroad, she realized she missed the person she had become during her stay overseas, a person unburdened by the constant pressure of burnout. Driven by her curiosity, she embarked on a quest to understand why this shift occurred and why exhaustion seemed so inherent to American culture.
Kristen and Erin’s research led to the realization that Puritanical theology played a significant role in shaping the cultural attitude toward work, emphasizing the virtues of hard work, individualism, and the disregard for rest and sleep. These beliefs seamlessly aligned with the capitalist framework that took root in America, shaping the American dream and perpetuating the burnout culture.
The book meticulously examines the historical trajectory of these ideas, tracing how individualism superseded communal values and how this hyper-individualistic mindset continues to impact society to this day. By shedding light on these historical nuances, Donnelly and Hinson seek to foster a deeper understanding of the roots of burnout and its pervasive effects on both individuals and communities. The authors disagree with the notion that burnout is solely the individual’s responsibility to address. They challenge conventional burnout solutions that place the burden on individuals to implement self-care practices like yoga and boundary setting. Instead, they propose a collective and cultural approach to tackle burnout.
The authors offer a ray of hope by sharing practical steps to reformat personal and professional cultures for balance, rather than perpetuating the burnout cycle. By implementing small but impactful changes in daily life, individuals can cultivate environments that prioritize well-being and meaningful connections.
Kristen Donnelly and Erin Hinson aspire to liberate readers from the shackles of burnout, prompting a paradigm shift in how individuals navigate life and work. Their vision is to see their work resonate widely, empowering people to break free from the burden of burnout and embrace lives filled with fulfillment and genuine connections. ‘The Culture of Burnout’ will be available soon for preorder on Amazon.