Book Review: Recover From Burnout

Judy Klipin


Review: Brian Joss

The United Nations listed burnout in its latest International Classification of Diseases (ICD-11), defining it as a “syndrome” so this self-help book by Klipin is timely. The master life coach has spoken out about burnout which is reaching epidemic proportions in South Africa. Subtitled, life lessons to regain your passion and purpose, Klipin says burnout affects people from every walk of life – high powered executives, men and women,  housewives drained by the demands of life, civil servants, police officers and exhausted senior managers and all that is keeping them upright are coffee, cigarettes, alcohol and high-carb foods. Klipin believes people get burnout because they are deceived into doing things that are wrong for them.  “We say yes when we mean no and mix with people who evoke despair instead of sparking joy.” There are various forms of burnout: the caffeine fix to get you going; eating everything containing sugar, cabs or salt, and combative burnout which makes you pick fights with everyone, to name a few.

There are many reasons for burnout and Klipin claims South African are over-achievers in this field. When she first started her work on burnout and discussed it,  people who should know better, scoffed at her, saying, “poor people can’t afford to get burnout; it’s laziness and self-indulgence”, “If you exercise you don’t get burnout”. The 10 chapters in the book cover the whole spectrum of burnout –  from diet  – to  learning when to say no. Klipin has included several case histories and how the people she was coaching resolved them. You’ll recognise yourself in some of them. There are also toolkits to help you on your way and she does offer some sound suggestions to overcome this chronic condition which can also slip into depression.  Here are a few: stay away from horror-mongers, the office gossip who revels in passing on the latest rumour; set your own agenda and keep a six point daily check-in tool on your desk, stuck on your computer or on your refrigerator. Cut our unnecessary interference: disable social-media notifications on your smartphone; delete subscriptions that don’t add value and opt out of spam; and leave your device at home when you go out with friends or to meetings. Klipin writes from personal experience as she also suffered from burnout. Her book ends wi th the famous quote by Mahatma Gandhi: “Be the change you want to see in the world”, and she adds her own rider. “If we all waited for others to improve the state of things. We’d be waiting a very long time. The same is true for our lives, which are after all, a world of their own. You can be the change you want to see in your world by taking charge and addressing problems instead of waiting for someone else to.

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