The Age of Overwhelm: Strategies for the Long Haul

 

Whether we are overwhelmed by work or school; our families or communities; caretaking for others or ourselves; or engagement in social justice, environmental advocacy, or civil service, just a few subtle shifts can help sustain us. Laura van Dernoot Lipsky, bestselling author of Trauma Stewardship, shows us how by offering concrete strategies to help us mitigate harm, cultivate our ability to be decent and equitable, and act with integrity. The Age of Overwhelm aims to help ease our burden of overwhelm, restore our perspective, and give us strength to navigate what is yet to come.

 

“Scientists worldwide are face to face with irrefutable facts that reveal humans are causing the mass extinction of life on earth at a scale and pace never seen before. This evidence has unleashed a sense of responsibility and pressure that feels devastating. There is a sense of panic. A sense of dread. What can we do? How can we act? However, in the face of epic overwhelm, this thoughtful, generous, and inspiring book offers a path forward and a ray of hope for all of us.”

— Dr. Vance Vredenburg, Professor of Biology, San Francisco State University; University of California, Berkeley; and the California Academy of Sciences

 

“Currently, we live in a world where most people are experiencing significant amounts of stress every day—in our personal lives, our work, our communities, and our countries. Through the media, on a daily basis, we experience stories of devastating events occurring thousands of miles away. We know from experience and research that this chronic exposure to toxic stress can lead to acute and long-term mental and physical health problems. And while we might be consciously aware of this buildup of stress within us, more commonly its effects slowly leach into us, unrecognized, and at some point results in a breakdown of how we function and relate to others in our world. This book is an invaluable addition to our personal tool kit, offering direction to help us recognize and address the stress within our lives and our world, and providing important guidance to help reduce and heal that stress.”

— Dr. Arne Graff, Division Chair, Child Abuse Pediatrics, Mayo Clinic

 

“This is a useful guide for managing the perpetual, trademark overwhelm of adolescence, and it also realistically addresses my experience as a first generation Ethiopian American. With specific ideas to help shift attitudes and habits, this book is a great resource for teens and adults alike.”

— Faisal Mustafa, high school student

 

“Laura van Dernoot Lipsky presents a meaningful and compelling guide to addressing and responsibly managing the effects of overwhelm that we all experience when working to serve the needs others in trauma-saturated environments. There are few places where people find themselves feeling the loss of control so completely as those who work within and come through our courthouse doors. The cumulative toll that trauma takes in our courts is significant and is slowly eroding morale—we are asked to do more and more with fewer and fewer resources while suffering increases. Many are required to navigate our justice system with a scarcity of personal resources. Those of us who work within may lack the tools and teachings to tend responsibly to our own needs so that we can be fully present for others. The Age of Overwhelm is timely, and should be within hand’s reach of every judge’s bench and every court administrator’s desk. This book is of great significance.”

— Hon. Elizabeth Berns, King County Superior Court

 

“With this profound and critically important book, Laura shows us how to maintain hope, well-being, and integrity when faced with challenges greater than we can solve on our own. Laura’s first book, Trauma Stewardship, has become a cornerstone for the international community. The Age of Overwhelm will, without a doubt, do the same. I am beyond thrilled to add it to my toolkit and share it with others.”

— Françoise Mathieu, author of The Compassion Fatigue Workbook

 

“As an activist, I have regular conversations with my peers about how we are struggling with that ‘It’s all too much’ feeling in our personal lives and our social change work. The Age of Overwhelm tells the truth about how today’s culture of overdrive, distraction, rapid response, and scarcity affects our lives, our connections with one another, and our physical and emotional well-being. It provides tools and ideas to help us build skills and shift our intentions and actions. This book shows us how to not just cope and survive but how we can thrive by creating conditions for more contented lives.”

— Deepa Iyer, author of We Too Sing America: South Asian, Arab, Muslim and Sikh Immigrants Shape Our Multiracial Future

 

Now available!

Please contact your favorite local bookseller or order online here.

In The Age of Overwhelm, Laura van Dernoot Lipsky tells the truth about how today’s culture of overdrive, distraction, rapid response, and scarcity affects our lives, connections with one another, and our physical and emotional well-being. Lipsky also provides tools, skills, and ideas to shift our intentions and actions. This book shows us how to not just cope and survive, but how we can thrive by creating the conditions for more contented lives.

— Deepa Iyer, author of We Too Sing America: South Asian, Arab, Muslim and Sikh Immigrants Shape Our Multiracial Future