“Emptying involves letting go of thoughts, worries, and barriers you have erected to protect yourself. Many people feel weighted down and overwhelmed by the demands and responsibilities of their lives. They feel cut off and isolated from the people around them. When you lighten the load and let down the walls you have built around yourself, there is a release, a great sense of freedom, increased sensitivity, and abundant vitality.”
Ellen Birx in Healing Zen

Spiritual Practice: Taking inventory can lessen the sense of overwhelm, which is abstract, by making it concrete. This involves turning the to-do list in your head into objects that can be looked at, touched, and counted.

Spiritual Practice: The look of our physical environment can affect the feel of our interior environment. Brooks Palmer recommends Decluttering as a way to counteract overwhelm and cultivate spaciousness, calm, and clarity.

Book: In Overwhelmed: Work, Love, and Play When No One Has the Time, Brigid Schulte writes about working mothers, our time-starved culture, the challenges of the workplace for women, and the burdens busyness puts on marriages.

Book Excerpt: Read this passage from CrazyBusy by Edward M. Hallowell for practical tips on countering overwhelm and cultivating the “6 Cs”: Connect, Control, Cancel, Create, Care, and Cultivate.

Book Excerpt: In this excerpt from Ghosts in the Garden: Reflections on Endings, Beginnings, and the Unearthing of the Self, Beth Kephart liberates herself from words and doing by entering the wordless and plain life of her garden.

Film: Tully stars Charlize Theron as an aspiring supermom who is overwhelmed by the demands of her three children, including a newborn. After a “night nanny” comes to help, she learns the value of self-care.

E-course: Executive leadership mentor, psychotherapist, and minister Wayne Muller offers an on-demand course called Discovering What’s Enough. Through 12 sessions, you will learn how to make the daily choices that will give you the feeling that you have done enough.

More resources on being overwhelmed.

Ask the SpiritualityandPracticebot: “What can I do when I feel overwhelmed?”