Book Title: Lighten Your Mental Load by Amy Thornton
Category: Adult non-fiction, 129 pages
Publisher: Tell-Tale Publishing
Release date: January, 2020
Tour dates: Apr 13 to May 1, 2020
Content Rating: PG: The author uses occasional mild swear words in the book.
Mental labor, or the mental load, involves the many — and extremely varied — tasks that are involved in managing a household and/or workplace. This topic has exploded over the past couple of years, especially for women. As stated in an October 2017 Washington Post article, “The constant stress of trying to stay organized — and to remember to execute so many tasks every single day — is affecting women's relationships with their spouses, children, friends, and colleagues. They are experiencing mental, emotional, and physical fatigue trying to stay on top of it all.”
Lighten Your Mental Load shares real stories of what this load is like for both men and women across the globe and how it originated. It offers practical advice on how to lighten this burden through technology and other methods in the following areas:
• Shopping and Meals
• Birthdays, Celebrations, Holidays, and Vacations
• Volunteering, Church Activities, and Hobbies
Finally, the book discusses ways to not add to the mental load of others and how we can more evenly distribute the mental labor between both sexes for future generations.
AT: Yes, definitely! What helps prevent it in the first place is creating an outline. I’m a bit of an outline freak! But having a guide helps me move easily from sub-topic to sub-topic and not get stuck.
Even with an outline, I encounter moments where my mind just goes blank. That’s my cue to get away from the book for a while and take a walk, read, or do some hoop dancing (dancing with a hula-hoop). Nine times out of ten, by getting away from my iPad/laptop, my brain resets, relaxes, and gives me the inspiration I need! Prayer helps as well.
LCR: What is your next project?
AT: I write a column about the sandwich generation for our local paper. If you’ve never heard of this term, it refers to members of a generation taking care of both their children and their parents. I’ve been taking care of my mom as well as my own family since 2016 and have had numerous “adventures” along the way! I’ve also learned a lot.
My next book will be a compilation of my columns to help millions realize they’re not alone. I’m hoping the book will provide laugher, information, and comfort to sandwich generation members.
LCR: If you’re a mom writer, how do you balance your time?
AT: I’m blessed that my boys are age 19 and 18 and pretty independent. However, they still need me for guidance at times, and of course, I want to enjoy them for as long as they still live at home. I make sure to set everything aside when they want to talk to me, as those moments are rare.
I try to write gradually, a little at a time, to not take away from family or work time.
LCR: Now here's a fun question for you: If you could go back in time, where would you go?
AT: I would go back to any dinner conversation that included my father. He died suddenly in November of 1993 and I would love to see him again.
LCR: Favorite travel spot?
AT: I’m a beach girl! Take me to the Florida Panhandle to enjoy the white, “sugary sand” beaches and I’m a happy camper.
LCR: Thanks for chatting with us!
Amy Thornton Shankland, GPC, has been battling the mental load for over 29 years. She is a former Dale Carnegie instructor, has been a grant professional for 18 years, is a columnist for the Hamilton County Reporter in Central Indiana, and a wife and mother. She also published Joy to You and Me (At Work!) in 2018 through Tell-Tale Publishing.