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Nature Environmental Conservation & Protection

Taking a Break from Saving the World

A Conservation Activist’s Journey from Burnout to Balance

by (author) Stephen Legault

Publisher
RMB | Rocky Mountain Books
Initial publish date
May 2020
Category
Environmental Conservation & Protection, Essays, Environmentalists & Naturalists
  • Paperback / softback

    ISBN
    9781771603638
    Publish Date
    May 2020
    List Price
    $20.00
  • eBook

    ISBN
    9781771603645
    Publish Date
    May 2020
    List Price
    $20.00

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Description

"The climate crisis is an overwhelming phenomenon and eco-activist Stephen Legault knows all about that. He’s been a burnout casualty a number of times and seeks solutions for the malaise, knowing people can’t be effective politically unless they take care of themselves. He has recommendations on everything from diet to organizational restricting – leaves of absence, anyone? Think about it." - NOW Magazine Toronto

Professional conservation and political activist Stephen Legault examines the consequences of overwork in the “save the world” movement.

A veteran of burnout himself, Legault looks at the culture of self-sacrifice that permeates the work done by volunteers and paid staff in the environmental conservation movement, and dissects how to manage our own time, energy, and commitment to our causes. Following a river-running metaphor, and proposing a variety of techniques to help with various states of anxiety resulting from burnout, including clarity of purpose, recognition of limits, fitness and diet, mediation and yoga, as well as organizational structural changes such as leave-of-absence policies, Legault encourages readers to find time to “eddy out”—to rest a moment in quieter waters and scout downriver—to ensure our lifetime of engagement is fulfilling, effective, and self-sustaining.

Just as with teachers, nurses, doctors, lawyers, paramedics, steelworkers, students, and airline pilots, burnout is a growing concern in many social-change circles. Taking a Break from Saving the World takes a look at the impacts of eco-anxiety, over-work, and the associated stress surrounding the present and future state of the environment and offers practical and insightful suggestions on how to deal with it.

About the author

Stephen Legault is a full-time conservation activist, writer, photographer, and organizational development consultant. He is the author of a number of historical and environmentally themed mysteries, including The End of the Line and The Third Riel Conspiracy, featuring Durrant Wallace, a sergeant with the North West Mounted Police in the late 1800s; The Slickrock Paradox, a Red Rock Canyon Mystery set in Utah's Canyonlands region; and The Vanishing Track and The Glacier Gallows, the most recent mysteries featuring Cole Blackwater, an environmentalist who finds himself solving crimes. Stephen is also the author of Carry Tiger to Mountain: The Tao of Activism and Leadership, which he wrote based on his experience using the Tao Te Ching as a guide to his lifelong work to protect wilderness and wildlife, and Running Toward Stillness, a meditation on Buddhist spiritual practice, running, and parenthood. He is currently working on new books of photography, essays on spirituality, and more mystery novels. He lives in Canmore, Alberta, with his wife, Jenn, and two children, Rio and Silas. Visit Stephen online at stephenlegault.com and follow him on Twitter at @StephenLegault.

Stephen Legault's profile page

Editorial Reviews

"The climate crisis is an overwhelming phenomenon and eco-activist Stephen Legault knows all about that. He’s been a burnout casualty a number of times and seeks solutions for the malaise, knowing people can’t be effective politically unless they take care of themselves. He has recommendations on everything from diet to organizational restricting – leaves of absence, anyone? Think about it." - NOW Magazine Toronto

"Legault is open, honest and at times jarringly vulnerable as he shares his story. If you have suffered burnout, you will find in these pages solace, wisdom, and practical advice on how to avoid it." - The Charity Report

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