I thought this book was about general burnout, so when I got the audiobook on my Libby app, I was surprised to see so much hot pink – pink cover, pink background, pink text. But then I started listening and realized that this was a book specific to women and burnout. The pink made a lot more sense.

While it might appear that this book is dealing with burnout, it’s really a book about managing stress. So that was well-timed. Burnout is so much more than offering suggestions for getting more self-care. The authors dig deep to help you figure out how to deal with stress. Their suggestions on how to deal with the stress response are what got me out the door to run today. Especially since the alternative was sitting around “stewing in stress juice” caused by COVID-19 anxiety.

burnout | bookish and badass

About the Book

This book has plenty of science, solid science. But is written in a way that makes it easy to digest, understand, relate, grasp, chew on, and apply in some way. There’s never information overload. Stories and real-life examples are scattered throughout the text to illustrate key points. And there’s a “tl;dr” (too long didn’t read) at the end of every chapter to summarize key points.


  • This book was a surprise. It’s not what I was expecting, but it wound up being more helpful than what I was anticipating.
  • While reading/listening to this book, I had quite a few a-ha moments. Like, I think my biggest source of burnout is not prioritizing rest. Chapter 7 is all about why rest is important, and it goes into the physiology of why it’s so important – something I always appreciate.
  • Rest is what keeps us productive. And it’s okay if it’s active rest; it’s like switching to a different gear on a bike. You’re still moving, but you’re in a different gear. The authors look at active rest as cross-training. For example, one of the sisters/authors wrote a novel while she wrote this book. She was still giving her brain time to rest while writing this book but was using active recovery by switching to a new gear in novel-writing.
  • Not only do the authors use storytelling from real-life examples to illustrate certain points, but they also use scenes from The Karate Kid, Star Trek, and quite a few Disney princess references. The princess references aren’t too cutesy though and are balanced out with a few F bombs.
  • The middle chapters cover topics like the patriarchy and the “bikini industrial complex.” The authors use these sections to explain where some of your personal beliefs might come from and offer suggestions on how to change them if you want to.
  • I would re-read this book, but it’d probably be a paper or digital copy. A few of my key takeaways were…
    • When you’re working hard on a project or goal, frustration happens when our progress toward a goal feels more effortful than what we expected it to be.
    • Your body needs to complete the stress response. Otherwise, years and years of uncompleted stress responses can build up in your body.
    • Meaning in life comes from something bigger than yourself. But, it also comes from within.

Favorite Quotes (Emily and Amelia Nagoski)

“Emotions are tunnels. Exhaustion occurs when we get stuck in the tunnels.”

“Dealing with your stress is a different process than dealing with the things that cause your stress.”

“A goal is not a life.”

“….there was always a way to get through a difficulty. If you just keep swimming, you’ll find your way. And when your brain wants to give up because there’s no land in sight, you keep swimming, not because you’re certain swimming will take you where you want to go, but to prove to yourself that you can still swim.”

“The quality of our lives is not measured by the amount of time we spend in a state of perfection.”

Started: 2.27.2020
Finished: 3.16.2020