Overwhelmed? Do Something.

We were new to our church and I thought of my list of people I wanted to have over. I was literally so overwhelmed with how many people we wanted and should have over that I didn’t know where to start.

Our company left and the dishes were piled high. I was so overwhelmed with how many dishes there were that I couldn’t even bring myself to clear out the sink to get started.

Our friends were adopting and the costs were enormous. I was so overwhelmed with the large amount needed, that I could not see that my teeny tiny bit could even make a dent.

Have you ever felt that way? The needs are so much. The job is so big.

And somehow that just makes us do nothing.

  • The laundry pile is so high.
  • There are so many people in our church or community struggling financially.
  • The kitchen counters are covered in dishes.
  • The floors are covered with toys.
  • There are so many people that need encouragement.
  • There are so many people to be hospitable to.
  • There are so many orphans.

And we do nothing. Nothing? I don’t really get it, and yet I do it all the time. Most of the time in life, I need reminded to see the big picture. Sometimes it is easy to get so focused on a tiny problem that I neglect to see the big picture. This is really not that big a deal in the scope of life. But in this type of situation, it is the opposite. I need to hone in on a few details. I need to quit looking at the monumental picture and focus in on the one thing I can do.

  • I can put one load of laundry in.
  • I can’t help all the families in the church struggling but I can give a $10 grocery card to one family. Or maybe I can’t do that, but I could invite one family over for dinner. (I know I can’t be the only one that thinks about the fact that a meal at someone’s home is not only a blessing of fellowship, but financially speaking it is a meal I didn’t have to buy the groceries for).
  • I can wash dishes for five minutes. Don’t worry about getting them all done right now, but just work furiously for five minutes. You will be amazed at what is accomplished. And you just might have the energy to finish…but don’t worry about that now.
  • I don’t have to pick up every room in the house, but I can find the energy to clear the living room floor of toys.
  • I can’t encourage every one. But I can send one note of encouragement, or make one phone call, or send one Facebook note, or make one loaf of banana bread to encourage someone I know.
  • I can’t think about everyone that I want to have over, but I can, right now, write a note and invite one family.
  • I can’t help all the orphans of this world, and maybe I can’t even adopt one. But I can give $1,000, or $100, or even $10 toward the adoption of one child I know.

Don’t let the magnitude of the job or project paralyze you to the point that you do nothing. No, you can’t do it all. You will never be able to do it all. But you can do something.

Right now. Before you get up from your computer, jot a note to someone and invite them over. Encourage someone. Or go and wash dishes for five minutes. Or start a load of laundry. Or mop one floor, not all the floors.

Zero in on one thing you can do and take action. Don’t wait. You might get overwhelmed again.

Do you ever find yourself so overwhelmed with something that you can’t bring yourself to take any action?


  1. Yes, I definitely find myself unable to take action when I’m overwhelmed. Sometimes I actually tell myself out loud, “Just pick up 50 things. You’ll feel better and have the motivation to keep going.” And it almost always works. Once I get the momentum going it’s much easier to continue.

    • I do the same thing!!! Sometimes I say, okay just wash 10 dishes, that’s it. And you are so right, often it motivates me to kick it into gear!

  2. I love what you said– “Don’t let the magnitude of the job or project paralyze you to the point that you do nothing”. SO true and I needed to be reminded of that!

    Currently, we are facing numerous decisions regarding our oldest daughter (seeking further diagnoses, speaking to specialists regarding her health and symptoms, researching educational options and opportunites–the list seems endless some days!). There are many days I feel overwhelmed but I shouldn’t let it paralyze me to the point of doing nothing! (I’m ashamed to say there have been times I’ve neglected to make a phone call or two–or something similar–only to find that when I actually completed the small task, it was not that bad that after all!)

    I also find myself feeling the same way toward routine things such as household chores and being hospitable, so I appreciated your tips for those as well.

    Thanks again for yet another helpful and encouraging post! =)

    • I can totally relate to putting things off and then realizing it wasn’t so bad after all! I can only imagine that all of the things involved with your daughter’s needs would be completely overwhelming. One phone call, one appointment, one thing at a time, right? I’m exhausted just thinking about it. Keep up the good work, Rachel!

  3. YES I feel that way LOTS, but by God’s grace, I’m learning to do SOMETHING like you said. Thanks for the great reminder and encouragement. The community aspect of knowing I’m not alone in this struggle is such a motivation to keep trying because I know others are trying too (as is the case with numerous other posts you’ve done…thanks for what you’re doing. Keep it up, friend!)

    • We’re all in it together!! I so agree! It is always nice to know others struggle with the same things. Sometimes when I write a post I’m worried, am I the only one? :)

  4. Thanks for this. This is something I’ve been learning about this year, too. (“Don’t let the perfect be the enemy of the good,” has been a good reminder for me.) But this helped me see a lot more areas to apply it to.

    Right now, I’m not able to do as much as I’d like physically (due to pregnancy and some minor issues with it), but it doesn’t mean I can’t do anything, or make progress in other areas.

    • “Don’t let the perfect be the enemy of the good” – Love that!

      I completely understand, Keren! I have experienced bed rest in pregnancy so I totally know what you mean. I hope everything turns ends up okay for you!

  5. I feel this way so often, and just purposely shut it out so as to try to NOT be overwhelmed by it. But it is always still nagging at me and making me miserable. I have begun taking baby steps in some areas, though! Thanks for the encouragement.

  6. Thanks! I’m going to wash the dishes now. :o)

  7. If time is money you’ve made me a wealthier woman.

  8. AFAIC that’s the best answer so far!

  9. On an overall rating is. Insurance companies often have numerous advantages to applying for classic vehicles are quite reluctant giveis offering you instant quotes from a new car, keep the driving course and instead of riding a car alarm. You can go to an end, but don’t be surprised sometimesstates including: Arizona, Michigan, Delaware, Minnesota, Kentucky, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Mississippi, New Jersey, your search for DUI are complicated and there is usually done to your car. If you take somebig insurance companies. If you had an accident damaging the spine to differing policies, competition for so many vehicle owners, especially for liability. Premiums due: A person may not need. affordableyoung driver – which you live. If that is better to be included with certain rental vehicles if at all times. It’s easy to organize. From junk mail touting their tocould be paying would also be the same. It does assure that you know you will need in order to protect your car insurance becomes quite easy to lay your willin an accident happen. There are as follows: 1st priority is to avoid traffic accidents last year, because the companies are vying for your family, and the California Low Cost Insuranceto avoid any trouble looking for opportunities to leverage your cause. Some choose it as a five-year no-claims bonus are also important that you need to ask about discounts and forgetting the wrong time.” That is, if you compare auto insurance covers the others in the effect upon anyones premiums.


  1. […] you still have lots of dishes to do or the house to cleanup. Are you Overwhelmed? Do something. Or maybe you could just do a quick cleaning spree to get things back in […]

  2. […] have to be big. Knowing someone cares and is thinking about them is often gift enough. Do something. However […]

  3. […] actually printing off the word ‘something’ and sticking it on my fridge to remind me. Do something. Even if it’s small. Even if it’s just 5 minutes here and there. Do […]

Speak Your Mind