Book Review: Burnout to Breakthrough

Jan Verhoeff
3 min readAug 28, 2020

Building Resilience to Refuel, Recharge, and Reclaim What Matters

By Eileen McDargh

Unless you’ve been living in a vacuum for the past six months, you understand the purpose and value of this book! I was pulled in by the title and sucked into the depths by the end of the first chapter, where Eileen talks about her own story in 1984. Burnout is real.

McDargh focuses her discussion on what the reader needs by adding assessments into the book, so readers can make decisions and choices about what steps they should be taking. Each analysis offers up some valuable options to take as readers follow the steps.

Her compelling discussions reveal how individuals respond to various situations, helping to alleviate the burnout that comes from overwhelming life events and happenings, often even simple stressors of their own choosing. Questions tagged on many of the pages assist with working your way through the processes of finding balance and control over your own issues. She talks about the overstimulation of social media, cell phones, and everyday life.

I found myself soaking in the revelation that it isn’t necessarily a crisis in our lives that sets us on this path to burnout. Sometimes, it’s just life. But we can stop it.

By using the key concepts McDargh lays out in her book, recognizing the triggers, and identifying problems, we make the choice to continue or stop the damage. How many of us keep reeling in our own chaos when the day is done? Instead of getting the night’s rest you really need, your mind is in turmoil?

McDargh touches on the concepts of competition. “My life is busier than your life.” And the conflict we all have about staying busy… Why? Why do we need this busy-ness in our lives?

Resilience is a word that comes up frequently as I read the book. I don’t know if she actually used it as often as I thought the word… It is a favorite of mine. I often say, “But I’m resilient, I’ll get through this.” But McDargh points out that resilience is an indication that we might be TOO flexible. Instead of setting boundaries for what we will get involved with, we allow ourselves to become overwhelmed with too much stuff to do.

Eileen McDargh

By the time I got to her BREAKOUT — I was due for a walk anyway. With the sun coming up, I took a stroll through the courtyard into the neighborhood to think about the overwhelming lives we lead. How can we expect to live with integrity if we’re doing too much to really think about what we do?

I returned to finish reading. The realization that we can’t ever go back… And who would want to go back anyway? McDargh offered steps I could apply immediately to move out of the overwhelming feeling of burnout into a place of rest, peace, and calm. Again with the questions… Last night, I got less than three hours of solid sleep. That was my first goal. So I started following her steps. I recommend this book. I already feel calmer, less stressed, just by reading through the solutions and starting the process of putting them to work.

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5 Stars



Jan Verhoeff

Verhoeff tells life stories, shares dreams, and puts powerful business solutions in writing. Her passion for words knows no limit. Find her at