GUEST POST BY JESS MALINGOWSKI
As a health coach, I see many people going through their daily routines not truly knowing who they are or what they want. Their decisions are being made based on their past or based on what society is telling them to do.
The problem is not the past or society, the problem is we are a population that is EXTREMELY UNAWARE OF OURSELVES.
We are completely wrapped up in being “normal” (whatever that is) and doing what we are “supposed” to do. Our decisions are based on what everyone around us is doing and not based on what we truly want and need.
Part of the problem is we are caught up in being too busy that we rarely make time to just be by ourselves.
OUR CULTURE IS A GO, GO, GO CULTURE, AND OUR TIME IS NOT DEDICATED TO ACTUALLY TAKING CARE OF NUMBER ONE (WHICH IS YOU, BY THE WAY).
How can we become more self-aware?
I believe that in order to become more aware of who you are and what you want is through SELF-CARE.
SELF-CARE IS NOT SELFISH, IT'S NECESSARY.
This is a hot topic in the health and wellness world right now, and I want to start off by saying your self-care does not have to be an hour-long, extravagant bubble bath or expensive massage.
I’m going to give you some practical self-care activities that you can do at home and for as little as five minutes. Take these activities seriously so your self-awareness increases and your choices start reflecting your true desires.
We all have times where we get stuck in our own heads and can’t seem to gather our thoughts. Instead of holding these thoughts in, write them in a daily journal. I encourage you to take at least five minutes out of your morning and evening routine to write out what is going on in your mind. Don’t hold anything back—simply let your pen flow and allow yourself to empty anything and everything you are feeling.
What you end up writing is truly eye-opening and brings awareness to your inner voice. After a week of this, re-read your entries and see what keeps coming up. Is there a theme or something you are always thinking about? You might notice you continue to write about a business venture you want to start but are too scared to try. You might continually write about the job you hate and how you want to find a way out. You might even write about how you are feeling a lack of support from a friend, family member, or partner.
These thoughts that keep occurring will continue until you address the issue or take action.
Listen to your intuition and where it is leading you.
When is the last time you picked up a good book? Reading a book can take your mind off of those daily stressors such as work deadlines, family issues, finances, etc. We are a society that needs to come back to a place of peace, and an activity such as reading can do just that. Let yourself enjoy a fiction book or read a non-fiction book if that’s what you prefer.
If you want to read a book that improves your self-awareness, I highly recommend reading one of these empowering books:
- You Are a Badass by Jen Sincero
- The Universe Has Your Back by Gabby Bernstein
- Daring Greatly by Brené Brown
- Lean In by Sheryl Sandberg.
Set your alarm for ten or fifteen minutes earlier than normal and start your day by reading a chapter or two of your book. If you aren’t an early bird, make time at night for reading. I highly recommend reading a chapter before calling it a night—this will ease your mind and improve your sleep quality.
The first thing I do in the morning is meditate for at least 5 minutes. Some mornings, I meditate for longer if I am really struggling with letting go of something or if I am stressed to the max (I’m Type A, so I tend to put a lot on my plate).
Choose a time when meditating will work for you. You can choose to meditate first thing in the morning or it could be the first thing you do when you get home from work. Some people also enjoy meditating right before bed so their sleep quality improves.
When you meditate, set a timer for at least 2 minutes and only focus on your breathe. Let your mind go still. When a thought enters your mind, acknowledge it, accept it and let it go. You might not enjoy meditating in complete silence, so I recommend the following music options. This first option will help you become more centered and connected to your higher power. If you are seeking for a more creative vision and want to tap into where you are being called, I recommend this meditation.
Meditate with either of these options for as long as you’d like and write out the visions you received. Re-read your visions and notice what the Universe continues to send you through these meditations.
Saying No /
Do you ever feel overwhelmed or feel like you never have time to get anything done?
YOU ARE PROBABLY STRETCHING YOURSELF TOO THIN.
Oftentimes, we say yes because we want to please people and do not want to rude. I have great news for you—you can say no and still be a nice person. If the person you said no to chooses to view it as rude or selfish, that is out of your control. You know the reasons behind your “no”, and that is all that matters.
I want you to start saying "no" to activities that no longer serve you or do not align with who you are.
This step might take longer to figure out because this requires a great amount of self-awareness. Saying no will feel uncomfortable at first, but it is a crucial step to making more time for yourself and the activities you enjoy.
Try one of these self-care activities today and notice how it feels to make time for yourself. Note how you felt before your journaling, reading or meditation session and then notice how you feel afterwards. Incorporate the activity that you feel the most connected to, start listening to your inner voice and live your life according to your true self.
Jess is a Certified Holistic Health Coach through the Institute for Integrative Nutrition® and owns a health coaching business where she focuses on helping people establish self-care habits that lead to a healthy, sustainable lifestyle. Her coaching programs start with a focus on food freedom and understanding the individuality of our bodies. Once her clients reach a place of contentment with their food choices, she focuses on other areas of their lives that provide nourishment. Self-care and self-awareness are Jess’s passions and she enjoys standing alongside people as they journey toward a life of love and peace. Website | Instagram | Twitter | Facebook