52 Weeks to a Sweeter Life

"52 Weeks to a Sweeter Life" is a practical antidote to burnout for caregivers, activists, and helping professionals. (Book review)

52 Weeks to a Sweeter Life

The first time I burned out, I couldn't understand why. It was 2004, and I was working as a community manager for one of the first open source startups. The occupation was new, and there wasn't much shared wisdom among its practitioners on handling the pressures of the job. However, I noticed a common thread among fellow community managers: our self-worth was tied to our ability to serve our communities. Without a secure sense of intrinsic value, we would compromise our boundaries, neglect self-care, and take on impossible challenges because our self-worth was at stake – and burnout was often the result.

Twenty years later, I know that many in advocacy, caregiving, and helping professions face similar issues. When my friend Farzana Doctor – celebrated author, activist, and psychotherapist – began writing a workbook to help all of us navigate these challenges, I was thrilled to be asked to be a beta reader.

No other book or resource I've encountered so deeply and practically addresses the unique challenges faced by activists and community managers. The workbook contains fifty-two lessons, one for each week of the year. Each week contains a simple idea and an experiment for trying it out and there are optional deeper dives into many of the ideas.

I particularly appreciated these things about 52 Weeks:

  • Clarity. Farzana's writing is friendly, accessible, and concise, making the ideas she presents easy to understand and integrate.
  • Breadth & Interconnection. The book covers wide range of strategies and tactics, connecting them together in ways that improve their utility.
  • Practicability. Each week includes a practical experiment to help cement the understanding of the concepts discussed.
  • Lived & Theoretical. It's based on both lived experience and professional expertise, avoiding common traps with self-help books where they are either too specific to one person's experience or – if drawing from academic research – too abstract.

To see samples and grab your own copy from independent bookstores, visit https://farzanadoctor.com/52weeks/.