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      Untangling overwhelm.

      untangling overwhelm | kourtney thomas fitness life coach

      I’ve been hearing a lot lately that people are feeling overwhelmed, and I gotta say, I relate. There are a whole lot of ways that feeling can show up in our everyday lives, and sometimes it feels impossible to get away from.

      We’re overwhelmed by emotions. Sadness, grief, fear.

      We’re overwhelmed by information. Social justice and anti-racism education, COVID-19 and health science, political news.

      We’re overwhelmed by tasks. Work tasks, home tasks, social tasks.

      We’re overwhelmed by caretaking. Making sure kids are taken care of, making sure friends and family are safe, making sure we take a shower once a month.

      We’re overwhelmed by finances. Do we have them at all? Will we get to keep them? How do we use them?

      We’re overwhelmed by uncertainty. Because we don’t know, and we can’t know, and we’ll probably never how to be cool with that.

      Have you ever looked up the definition of overwhelm? I hadn’t really, partly because I wasn’t typically a person prone to that feeling for most of my life. Privilege contributed to that, sure, but I didn’t let it get to me for a really long time. Now though, as I hear it and feel it more frequently, I’ve gotten curious.

      Overwhelm can go by a lot of definitions. All the stuff above falls into a couple iterations of the word:

      1: to overcome completely in mind or feeling

      2: to cover or bury beneath a mass of something, as floodwaters, debris, or an avalanche; submerge

      That second one…whew, that’s the one that feels most appropriate, doesn’t it? Like, not just overwhelmed by a fluffy to-do list, but buried beneath an avalanche of life and feeeeeeeelings.

      And that one, that definition of overwhelm, that’s the one that usually feels insurmountable. As if we’re incapable of digging out of from beneath the avalanche.

      We’re not, though. That’s an inarguable truth.

      The idea of overwhelm reminds me a lot of the idea of busy.

      Or, well, maybe busy about a year or two ago. Everybody was busy. Everybody had too much on their plate. Everybody had all these things they just couldn’t say no to, even if all they wanted was a little peace and freedom. And I always thought the idea of busy was bullshit. Still do.

      Overwhelm right now feels similar, a lot like a tactic of the people in power to keep the people with less of it stuck and quiet. Unsure and insecure. Tucked away into the box where they belong.

      I say it feels that way, because every time I think about using the word overwhelmed for myself, I feel that. I kind of hate the word itself, so I do a little self-reflecting about it, and realize that’s exactly what the problem is. It’s not that I can’t handle everything life is throwing at me right now. I don’t feel overcome by my emotions, I feel overwhelmed by the world telling me what and how to feel. And I’m not buried beneath anything I’m not allowing myself to be buried in. I’ve always got more power and agency within myself, I just need to grab my shovel and dig.

      That’s a conscious choice of thought, and certainly one that takes practice. It always seems easier to sit in overwhelm vs. take responsibility for yourself. But every time I’m able to make that choice, I instantly feel better.

      Relatedly (and if you think it’s not related, well, wrong), I find that many of the conversations I’m having about this bring up overwhelm around fitness and body image. And every single one of the categories I touched on earlier seem to apply:







      I understand. Truly. It’s like I always say – fitness and how we feel about our bodies just does not exist in a vacuum. They intertwine and intersect with all the parts of our lives and our identities. So how do we figure out how to fit all that together in a way that doesn’t feel overwhelming? Well, that’s overwhelming.

      The thing is, though, it’s not.

      Because figuring that stuff out isn’t about fitting it in, piling it on, or ever, ever acting out of fear or insecurity – leading to more overwhelm. It’s about untangling, unraveling, and always, always acting out of a place of alignment with your full self.

      Where to start exactly? Here’s my hot tip:

      Take five minutes to reflect on, and write down, exactly what it is that’s overwhelming you. Be specific. Be detailed. And don’t let yourself off the hook with, “I don’t know!” You know. And if you don’t, you have to identify it so you can figure out how to get out from under it.

      Figuring out what fitness looks like for you right now, figuring out how to feel better and more confident in your body right now isn’t something to avoid because you think it’ll add to your overall overwhelm. In fact, if it’s something that you think about even a little bit (ie: “Ugh, I need to work out, but I can’t seem to get motivated” or “Ugh, I’m so disgusting and fat right now and I can’t even look at myself in the mirror,” etc.) it’s probably something that will end up reducing your overwhelm and leading you to a lot more clarity and comfort in all the things you want to do in life – even if the world is astoundingly wild right now.

      And that’s exactly why Fitness Unraveled is so important. If you take this piece of overwhelm out of the picture? Trust, it changes so, so much. The program and process, even though it’s deep, is counterintuitively great at uncomplicating any overwhelm you’re feeling about fitness and body image.

      I mentioned the practice of consciously choosing to believe in my own power and agency. Of that practice being a helpful tool in digging out of the avalanche of overwhelm. It’s a big part of what we learn in FU, and though I know it sounds hard, maybe a little abstract, I want to show you can start to play with this approach in your life.

      Next Thursday, August 13, at 10am Mountain, I’m going to host a webinar on Untangling Overwhelm.

      It’ll give you two highly useful and implementable tools that you can incorporate immediately. (True story.) It’s by no means “5 easy ways to combat overwhelm!” – you know me better than that – nevertheless, it’s a half-hour chock full of actual takeaways that you can use and apply. If you’ve been feeling overwhelmed, by anything, in any part of your life, this is an excellent use of 45 minutes of your day (I’ll leave time for questions. I’ll even give you a worksheet, because who doesn’t like a worksheet?!?)

      You can register here:

      There’s one more variation on the definition of overwhelm I think deserves a mention:

      3: to overpower or overcome, especially with superior forces; destroy; crush

      I don’t know about you, but to me? That one feels better. That kind of overwhelm? Yeah, I’ll take it. And that kind of overwhelm only comes by untangling and unraveling.

      Grab your shovel.

      Fitness Unraveled will be open for registration in two weeks. A day earlier if you sign up for the waitlist. If you’re feeling overwhelmed by figuring out fitness and food and feeling good in your body right now? This is the place to find your power and agency. If you’ve got questions about how it applies to all those categories of overwhelm I mentioned, email me anytime and let’s talk about it.

      Coaching can be daunting, so let’s ditch that and just talk about what you need.

      Book your (completely free) call to see how this feels in your guts.

      UNLEASH YOUR MORE. Snag your FREE 18-page workbook now!