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Exhausted: An A-Z for the Weary

Burnout is said to be the defining feeling of the post-pandemic world - but why are we all so exhausted? Some of us struggle with perfectionism, while others are simply overwhelmed by the demands of modern life. But whatever you're feeling, you are not alone - and this liberating, enlightening guide to exhaustion in all its forms will help you find the energy to beat burnout and weariness. From confronting our inner critics to how our desire to be productive stops us from being free, I bring together science, medicine, literature and philosophy to explore the causes and history of exhaustion and burnout, revealing new ways to combat stress and negativity. Inventive and freewheeling, full of comfort, solace and practical advice, Exhausted is an inspiring guide to getting control of your own exhaustion - and rediscovering happiness along the way.

The Art of Self-Improvement: Ten Timeless Truths

Self-help today is a multi-billion-dollar global industry, one often seen as a by-product of neoliberalism and capitalism. Far from being a recent phenomenon, however, the practice of self-improvement has a long and rich history, extending all the way back to ancient China. For millennia, philosophers, sages, and theologians have reflected on the good life and devised strategies on how to achieve it.  

The Art of Self-Improvement: Ten Timeless Truths
Exhaustion: A History

Exhaustion: A History

Today our fatigue feels chronic; our anxieties, amplified. Proliferating technologies command our attention. Many people complain of burnout, and economic instability and the threat of ecological catastrophe fill us with dread. We look to the past, imagining life to have once been simpler and slower, but extreme mental and physical stress is not a modern syndrome. 

The Truth About Julia

A taut debut psychological novel which asks the question - can there be one single truth? How many versions of the truth can there be? In June 2014, Julia White - a beautiful and intelligent young woman - blows up a coffee shop in central London, killing twenty-four people before turning herself in to the police. Apart from publishing a potentially ironic manifesto, she refuses to explain the reasons for her actions.

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"Insightful, charming and visionary"

— Susan Elderkin, author of The Novel Cure

"Satisfying - engaging - useful."

— Times Literary Supplement

"Antidotes to our exhausting modern life."

— The Sunday Times

"It is always a delight to read Anna Katharina Schaffner. In this handbook, she offers burned-out readers a balm made from her wide-ranging knowledge, her wit, and her experience as a coach and fellow-sufferer. Humans have been exhausted forever, and Schaffner knows, better than anyone, the centuries of philosophy, psychology, art, and literature that people have created to name and overcome their weariness. There are no shortcuts to healing from burnout. But reading Exhausted is like having a brilliant, compassionate, and good-humoured guide showing you there is a way forward."

— Jonathan Malesic, author of The End of Burnout

"A must-read for anyone grappling with the pressures of modern life."

— Anne-Laure Le Cunff


"Anna - without you I would never have finished my book. Thank you so much for all your wise advice, for keeping me on track and accountable, for making me aware of and helping me to change my self-talk, and for believing in me when I didn't!"


“It is honestly so hard to describe how much Anna has helped me; it is like I can finally see clearly after years of seeing nothing but fog. I am less hard on myself; I have more confidence; I believe in myself and trust myself more. I have been working on a huge new project that has tested me in every way possible, and even when I am thrown issue after issue or negative people or blockers, I embrace each day with strength and positivity I did not even know was there. The hard days remain hard, but I always pick myself up much faster than I did in the past which makes me even more productive. I really cannot thank Anna enough. I really do feel like a different person, and when the negative moments / days come, I am so much better equipped to deal with them than I was.”

Head of Events

“I came to Anna at the worst moment in my life. My wife was, at the time, close to terminally ill with multiple sclerosis, and I was struggling with grief, exhaustion and guilt – guilt because I had to spend time away from my wife in order to maintain my career. In fact, I was, I think, on the brink. Thanks to Anna’s careful, caring, sensitive and engaging approach to coaching, I was able to deal much better with all those difficult feelings. She helped me to find a way to think about myself, and see myself with more distance, the distance I needed to be able to find a way forward. I can’t thank her enough.”

Professor of History

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