The Age of Overwhelm

Strategies for the Long Haul

Whether you are overwhelmed by work, school or your personal life, just a few subtle shifts can help sustain you, suggests Laura van Dernoot Lipsky, bestselling author of Trauma Stewardship. She offers concrete strategies to help mitigate harm, cultivate decency and act with integrity. This book aims to help ease the feeling of being overwhelmed and offers ways to navigate what is yet to come.
200 pages. ©2018.
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Reader Reviews for this Book


Review posted November 30, 2022


From tips on how to disconnect less and be in the world more to better handling distraction to encourage focus and higher energy, this provides a powerful testimony to the force of positive thinking and retaking control of one's life, and is highly recommended for anyone who would tackle modern pressures with a more effective game plan.


Review posted November 15, 2022


The perfect resource for staff to onboard community development strategic initiatives


Review posted November 10, 2022


It's an interesting read but not quite as inspirational as I expected. I thought the memoir tone to the narrative to be off-putting at times. Perhaps, I was hoping to get engaged in more practical suggestions on how to deal with, as the title suggests, The Age of Overwhelm. The comic strips throughout the book added welcome humor.


Review posted November 6, 2022


Such a good read....I constantly felt overwhelmed in life as a single mom! The strategies in this book have helped to realize how important it is to say no sometimes and to take care of myself as my family when I need to!


Review posted October 28, 2022


This book resonated with me from start to finish. It confirmed so much of what I have experienced as well as my clients and offered some new ideas for navigating overwhelm. Highly recommended!


Review posted October 24, 2022


Good read gave perspective on how we must attend to our own needs in order to help people.


Review posted October 7, 2022


Incredibly important book at a time when we all find ourselves feeling overwhelmed and struggle with burnout. I find that putting words to what we feel is very helpful in processing it.


Review posted September 23, 2022


I have read this book 3 times. I get something new each time.


Review posted September 12, 2022


This was practical and timely. I think it is more something to read over time than to sit down and read and work on all at once.


Review posted August 30, 2022


At first this book was hard to start as reading about the overwhelm actually caused me overwhelm by hearing all the things I need to fix. Once I got farther into the book and started to see her ideas on how to change the overwhelm I really enjoyed it. To be honest though, my favorite parts are the cartoons :)


Review posted August 24, 2022


This was another amazing book and one that I keep coming back to! I have recommended to a number of friends


Review posted August 19, 2022


This book is an easy read and gives great insight. You will learn things about yourself that you wouldn't normally think of. I love getting lost in this and being able to become "centered" with myself and look at things in a different lens. Recommend!


Review posted August 17, 2022


This is a must for everyone as people and companies face burnout.


Review posted July 20, 2022


Great book!


Review posted June 27, 2022


A really good, really important book.


Review posted June 9, 2022


Very helpful to have real strategies that I can use in my work and my life to help protect myself from more burnout. It was a good reminder that although there are so many things I can't control, there are also a lot of little things that I can control and those will add up!.


Review posted June 2, 2022


This book is a life changer in the world of child welfare. This is a must read for anyone going into social work.


Review posted May 26, 2022


Great book with practical advice and easy to digest content. very helpful for the helping profession


Review posted May 25, 2022


Laura Vandernoot Lipsky is a balm for my weary soul. The Age of Overwhelm was a perfect follow up to Trauma Stewardship. It is very dense as far as the information it provides, so I took my time in reading through this one, allowing myself time to pause and process information before moving on to another section. I highly recommend this book for anyone doing trauma or social work who finds themselves overwhelmed or burned out by the failure of systems around us.


Review posted May 25, 2022


Very good book. I enjoyed it a lot. :D


Review posted May 13, 2022


Very helpful tips, funny cartoons, serious matters presented in an easy-to-understand way. Highly recommend!


Review posted May 11, 2022


Age of Overwhelm was an easy read that helped validate the stress so many of us are feeling and gives practical ideas to help. I enjoyed the read.


Review posted May 9, 2022


This is the perfect follow up to the beneficial Trauma Stewardship. It is like a "how to" for the helper role in regard to the difficult things that we see and feel. I wish everyone could have a copy of both of those books at their hands. I did just turn my colleagues on to this work and hope it aids them as much as this has for myself.


Review posted May 9, 2022


Great strategies to deal with the overwhelm of the modern age. Very mindful writing that brings you along to explore how overwhelm shows up and ways to keep it from stopping us.


Review posted May 5, 2022


I've been a big fan of Laura van Dernoot Lipsky ever since she gave a large presentation in Portland about 4 years ago. "Trauma Stewardship" was a fantastic read and really helpful for my line of work in mental health care. "The Age of Overwhelm" will also help me in this line of work to help others learn to slow down and discover ways to manage the stress in our lives during these very stressful times.


Review posted May 1, 2022


Definitely relevant to current times. I think I liked the author's "Trauma Stewardship" book a little bit more-- It was a little more specialized and specific to my career (therapist). Sometimes this one felt a bit general and basic, but it gives a good foundation for those who haven't read books like it before!


Review posted May 1, 2022


This book is incredibly inspiring. The author writes in a way that is inclusive and empowering. The content is relevant now more than ever!


Review posted April 22, 2022


Amazing! Just like her last book. Will take this and apply in my work in schools!


Review posted April 20, 2022


This was a surprisingly beneficial read. I often feel that some of these books are adding just one more burden to my already overextended reality. This was helpful in addressing the more practical aspects of boundaries and limitations that we as humans must have as finite entities.


Review posted April 6, 2022


Wow, I needed this right now. I work in social services in long term care so the pandemic has been a very challenging time. This author is amazing at making me laugh and offering practical advice for a more peaceful and meaningful life. Thank you.


Review posted April 3, 2022


This book is a very engaging normalization of many of the feelings that have become typical in our fast paced, packed lives, as well as practical solutions and food for thought.


Review posted April 1, 2022


Very applicable to my work. Great read, would recommend.

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Review posted March 31, 2022


I love Laura van Dernoot Lipsky's books. In fact, I get to listen to her on Monday morning for a training- so excited. When I first started this book I felt really anxious and put it aside for several months. I'm glad that I returned to this book and finished it. I appreciate that it encourages us to be more curious, intentional and present while giving us concrete examples on how to refill our tank. I'm looking forward to incorporating these concepts more into my every day life.


Review posted March 31, 2022


Laura vanDernoot Lipsky is a gifted writer. My daily life tends to be overwhelming, this wonderfully written book is a great resource! Grateful to have it as a resource.

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Review posted March 26, 2022


A very poignant book for the times of COVID and the past 2 years. Really enjoy this author and how she validates subjects with stories and science.


Review posted March 24, 2022


Everyone should read this book.


Review posted March 24, 2022


This is a wonderful summary of the current literature, and a great way to think about our modern life and how we can maintain some coping skills and sanity. Laura van Dernoot Lipsky is a treat!


Review posted March 16, 2022


This book title is not available in audio :0(


Review posted March 15, 2022


Such an incredible book.


Review posted March 10, 2022


This book did not give new ideas or skills but packaged past knowledge in a way that was digestible for easier integration into life. It touched on the may ways that modern society brings our attention away from caring from ourselves in order to be better people who can care for others.


Review posted March 8, 2022


I really enjoyed this very practical, insightful, and understandable approach to understanding the contemporary human experience. It offers perspective, context, and approaches to address the way our current world impacts us as biological beings. Definitely would recommend.


Review posted February 24, 2022


I thought this was a well thought out book that looks at the ways life is overwhelming us and great steps we can use to cope. There isn’t much there that hasn’t been offered many times in other books or social media sites, except for the comics! The comics are fun.


Review posted February 21, 2022


Helpful and insightful


Review posted February 17, 2022


Excellent read, especially during these times we live in. Helps restore perspective.


Review posted February 16, 2022


I found this book to be most helpful in understanding how others, and myself, can experience stress. I've found it beneficial when meeting with clients who are experiencing anxiety, in breaking down their experiences to manageable language and exercies.


Review posted February 14, 2022


Great book. Very informative and helpful.


Review posted February 12, 2022


Insightful, meaningful, important to read in this time we are in.


Review posted February 10, 2022


Really enjoyed this book, a good read during these times where covid, climate and other life things are very overwhelming.


Review posted January 18, 2022


Great read and reminder of all the ways to address overwhelm.

Jeanne-Marie Ritter

Review posted January 10, 2022


Another necessity for anyone in helping work! Laura has again broken down *overwhelming* concepts into a digestible format that reads with clear, humanizing, empathetic, and useful language for immediate self-resuscitation. The way she shares wisdom from the experiences of herself and others gives me hope and strength. This book is equally helpful for novice and seasoned helping workers.


Review posted December 12, 2021


In this world of pandemic stresses, this book is perfect for regaining our perspective and utilizing strategies to ensure self-care. Recognizing chronic stress is the first step to reducing our stressors and healing for more enjoyment in life.


Review posted December 10, 2021


Good information to identify why you may be feeling overwhelmed and excellent advice on coping. Especially helpful during these trying COVID times.


Review posted November 28, 2021


Great read. Highly recommend to anyone, especially those who struggle with being overwhelmed.


Review posted November 13, 2021


Challenging and practical. An important read for all who are on the front and back lines of social justice, community work and trauma. Her focus on wellbeing of those who help and those who are helped is engaging.


Review posted November 10, 2021


Being overwhelmed is so constant in our lives, it affects almost everyone I know. This book not only explains why, but also offers many suggestions to stop and reflect.


Review posted November 1, 2021


Nothing in this book is particularly revolutionary; however it is overall an excellent resource / compilation of potential solutions one can apply to make life just a little less overwhelming.


Review posted October 20, 2021


This is a great book. Letting go of things we cannot control and how to do so was my favorite part of this book.


Review posted October 18, 2021


This book is so needed! It's hard to believe it was published before the pandemic. Very helpful ideas on ways to combat overwhelm/anxiety.


Review posted October 15, 2021


Excellent book. I really appreciated all of the practical advice as well as the theories behind current overwhelm.


Review posted October 4, 2021


This book was very on point for understanding the why and how to deal with overwhelm. If you live in this world today, this book will be helpful to you. I don't know of anyone, young or old who doesn't suffer from overwhelm in todays climate.


Review posted October 3, 2021


This is a relevant book in our current and unusual times. The book was easy to read with a nice addition of humor interspersed throughout in the form of cartoons. The advice is solid and realistic. I find this to be a good guide for those that work in emotionally high demand jobs like teachers, counselors, and advocates.


Review posted September 17, 2021


I'm halfway through the introduction and so far I love it. I ordered this book when I was feeling the weight of the world on my shoulders because of my job. Since then, I have left that job so I haven't been having strong feelings of overwhelm, however, a close friend has. I'm excited to see what kind of insight this book can offer me to help them feel better and less overwhelmed, ultimately leaving me with the knowledge for the next time I'm overwhelmed as well.


Review posted September 3, 2021


I have not been able to read this yet, my coworkers have raved so much about it that I leant the book out without having a chance to look. At it..


Review posted August 25, 2021


This book was not as good as the Trauma Stewardship (which is great). At times during the intensity of Covid this book was both helpful and slightly overwhelming at the same time. There are some great stories and resources, but some stories are a little less focused and helpful.


Review posted August 15, 2021


I found this book incredibly helpful, as the author provided practical steps to take to mitigate feelings of overwhelm in one's life. Given that we live in a time of unrelenting catastrophes (or at least it seems like that) with climate change, political division, and unsustainable expectations at work, this book felt timely and needed. I plan on implementing many of the suggestions made by the author.


Review posted August 14, 2021


I liked this book for many reasons. Simple, practical strategies for life with science to back it up. I would recommend to others!


Review posted August 11, 2021


Love! such a helpful book


Review posted August 8, 2021


I think this came to me at the right time. It's been great to help me draw some boundaries during this pandemic and to better verbalize to the people in my life how to support me while overwhelmed.


Review posted July 30, 2021


I thought it was a very insightful and helpful book. She gives us hope in a time when hope seems hard to find.


Review posted July 25, 2021


Another lovely read from the author! Helpful questions for reflection in identifying individual and systemic factors contributing to overwhelm and the "what now?" of it all.


Review posted July 22, 2021


The Age of Overwhelm: Strategies for the long haul is an informative book. It reads like an academic paper on overwhelm mixed with self help solutions. As a person who felt overwhelmed often in 2020 I was looking for coping strategies which were sometimes hard to find in the research information. I keep returning to it to digest the wealth of information in smaller bites.


Review posted June 28, 2021


This book of strategies helped me over come a couple problems.


Review posted June 25, 2021


This book seems like it's written for someone who is just beginning to recognize that they're feeling overwhelmed with life, but has yet to find resources for understanding their overwhelm or accessing mindful coping strategies. It's less helpful for those who already have an analysis of capitalist culture and those who have any idea what trauma is and how it works. This book is written for a broad audience, and for that reason, it's particularly lacking in strong political analysis, even when it pretends otherwise. Perhaps a good first step for the therapy-averse, but otherwise not particularly helpful or revolutionary.


Review posted June 15, 2021


Strong recommendations for another great read by Laura van Dernoot Lipsky. I am looking forward to more of her writing as she speaks with truth in her connection to trauma work and how we can heal and grow.

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Review posted June 7, 2021


I was excited about The Age of Overwhelm, especially being a parent to four teenagers. I found the first half of the book to be informative but a little repetitive and “slow.” I really liked the second half of the book because it provided several possible solutions to ease overwhelm and become more engaged in a higher quality life. Some suggestions were as simple as spending time outdoors and being with animals. These are such basic ideas but often forgotten and just hearing them, being reminded of them, felt like quick, tangible and almost instantly gratifying solutions. One lasting impact this book has had on me, in regards to helping my kids navigate stress and overwhelm, is to get back to basics, and make those part of a daily routine. Eating simple and healthy, having a consistent bed time and bedtime routine, taking a 20 minute walk every day, are all just simple examples of habits I can remind and reinforce with my family.


Review posted June 3, 2021


"The Age of Overwhelm" not only describes the myriad reasons so many of us are struggling with stress and overwhelm, but offers a wide array of sensible solutions and coping strategies. Just like in "Trauma Stewardship", cartoons are placed throughout the book to help emphasize the author's points and to give the reader some knowing smiles and, in some cases, opportunities to laugh out loud. I especially appreciated Chapter 8, When to Step Away, in which the author poses questions to help the reader decide whether to step away but also HOW to remain.


Review posted June 3, 2021


Wow. Another excellent book from Laura van Dernoot Lipsky. Laura combines the latest scientific discoveries with her personal experiences, and shares it in a witty and often hilarious way. I highly recommend this book!


Review posted May 29, 2021


This book addresses the current and chronic state of overwhelm in all our lives and how it manifests in different ways. I appreciate that it also provides strategies and tips for addressing this, as well as acknowledging the trend. Fun cartoons break up the more serious text and help illustrate points. Overall a good book.


Review posted May 21, 2021


This book was a perfect match for me, working in an extremely hard field, in COVID. I gleaned many strategies for myself personally, and also how to lead my team at work.


Review posted May 19, 2021


Another winner from author Laura Van Dernoot Lipsky. This is a great follow up from her first book Trauma Stewardship with practical resources for surviving in our age of too much. As we all attempt to find balance in age of consistent emails, social media, and our day to day. Will definitely be going back to the book again- and - again!


Review posted May 18, 2021


Lipsky gives a great short-hand guide for recognizing and mitigating overwhelm, whether its from societal, family, or career issues. The basic message is what we already know: self-awareness and self-care. There are perhaps too many personal anecdotes and examples that can actually add to a sense of overwhelm, but the author breaks solutions down into bite-sized pieces so that we can have quick reminders of coping strategies when faced with particular symptoms of overwhelm, such as being distracted or feeling depleted.


Review posted May 13, 2021


This follow up to Trauma Stewardship is a must read for anyone who works in Social Services, Public Health, or anyone who works directly with the public, really.


Review posted May 10, 2021


I have heard Laura speak and found her to be an excellent and inspirational public speaker. I was excited to read this book because I tend to be in a state of overwhelm much of the time. Unfortunately, I found the book itself to be overwhelming. She did such a good job of describing the problem of being overwhelmed that I couldn't focus on her solutions. Ultimately I realize that I know much of what I need to do and it is time to apply it rather than to continue to read about the problems. I did enjoy the cartoons. They were my sense of humor and laughter does help.


Review posted May 7, 2021


Engaging! Best book I've binge read in quite some time. Worthy of everyone!


Review posted May 7, 2021


The timing of this book is spot on- after this past year my feeling overwhelmed has continued to grow as the months went along. This book is helping me shift and restore my strength to go on. Once again Thank you Laura van Dermoot Lipsky for what you do ! And if you have never read her books or seen a presentation do it ! You will not regret it


Review posted May 3, 2021


A guidebook for recognizing and addressing exposure to chronic stressors. Offers many tangible solutions for reconnecting and being more intentional in our relationships.


Review posted May 3, 2021


The book was very insightful as to how easily we find ourselves facing things bigger than us and how it can make someone feel small. Yet illuminates hope that we can overcome anything .


Review posted April 23, 2021


Applicable book to the times we are living in and great strategies for keeping yourself mentally well.


Review posted April 21, 2021


Loved this book, just like her first one!


Review posted April 11, 2021


Really excellent quick read, especially recommend to fans of Trauma Stewardship.