Hello Sweet Friend:
Does it ever feel like you wake up in the morning and don’t stop until you lay down at night?
You live in a fast paced world. And it’s so easy to get lost in a never ending list of things to do. We’ve all been there.
But being a busy bee also means exposing yourself to more stress, draining your batteries and tons more. Even worse, it can be hard to make time for you in that busy schedule, right?
What happens when you don’t take the time to stop and check in with yourself?
Not connecting with you can leave stress unchecked, physical symptoms unnoticed and can even lend a hand towards burnout. And who has time for that?!
Your mental and physical well-being depend on your attention. You need and deserve to feel connected with you. And the good news is you can easily make it happen, even with a busy schedule. Sometimes all you need is 5 minutes.
Let’s talk about it!
Before We Dive In
I absolutely adore Maryann Auger of Mani Fitness, a certified personal trainer, wellness coach and group fitness instructor. You’ve read her goodness here a couple of times. She is Inspirational with a capital I, baby! I absolutely love her encouraging, self-love embracing, health at any size approach.
And so I am happily subscribed to this gorgeous lady’s e-mail list. Because, why would you want to miss out on any of the goodness, right?
Recently she shared a newsletter all about connecting with yourself and I absolutely adored it. I immediately asked if she’d like to elaborate on her points for us. She said yes (eeee!) And here we are today with her awesome guest post!
Give Maryann some love for me! And be sure to check out her awesome Facebook Page right here.
Take it away Maryann!
How To Connect With Yourself
I have an important question for you – How are you feeling today?
Often times, we’re so busy and in a go go go mode that we forget to take a minute to stop, connect with ourselves and see how we’re feeling.
Without realizing it, we bottle up these feelings and they end up getting heavier and heavier. Which can leave us feeling not so great.
Have you ever had a random breakdown for no reason? I think we’ve all been there. Hello suppressed emotions that are suddenly making an appearance!
It’s not a fun experience. And it shouldn’t be a regular occurrence.
So this is your reminder to take 5 minutes to check-in today.
These regular check-ins can make a huge difference in the long run and help to support our emotional well-being.
Some examples of checking in with yourself include:
- Sitting in silence
- Going for a walk
- Any other way that makes you happy 🙂
Let’s take a closer look into how these awesome activities can help you:
What exactly is mediation? According to Dictionary.com it’s continued or extended thought, reflection and contemplation. (source)
That may seem like a vague definition and that’s probably because there are many types of meditations. Ranging from guided, unguided, calming, insight, body scan, focused attention meditation, visualization and more. (source)
You can experiment and find the type or types that work best for you. I personally like to use different kind of meditations depending on the day, time of day, my mood, how I feel, etc. Make it yours and do what feels best.
Need some help? There are some meditation apps that can help, like:
- Insight Timer (my personal favorite)
They all offer a wide variety of meditations and can be a huge help when trying to connect with yourself.
But you don’t need to use an app if that isn’t for you. It’s ok to simply focus on your breath.
You may be asking how meditation can help you check-in with yourself.
Well, when you meditate, more often than not, your focus is redirected inwards. This allows you to stop focusing on the outside world and see what’s going on on the inside.
Focusing on what you’re feeling inside is so important. And it’s something that we don’t often do because of the fast paced, stressful world we live in. Meditation provides a great opportunity to connect with yourself.
We also can’t forget about all the amazing benefits of meditation like managing your stress, reducing negative emotions and increasing creativity, imagination and patience. (source)
When I was younger, I thought journaling meant writing about my whole day and everything that happened. I’d also write for my future self, making sure everything was well-written and would make sense for myself a few years down the road.
After doing that for one or two days, I would eventually give up on journaling because it took up too much of my time and felt – frankly – exhausting. I’m sure I’m not the only one who’s experienced this!
The good news is, in reality, journaling is whatever you want it to be!
I use my journal for various things. I write 3 things I’m grateful for every day, I write affirmations, I talk about how I feel, exciting things that happened, goals I have, etc.
Your journal can be anything you want it to be, there are no rules!
You can write in half sentences and you don’t need to punctuate or focus on grammar.
Or you CAN write in full sentences, punctuate and write with good grammar.
Bullet points are more your thing? Cool!
Ultimately, your journal is for YOU and your present self, not your future self!
Use your journal in any way that will help you connect with yourself and make you feel good.
Journaling is so wonderful because it really allows you to check-in with yourself and redirect your focus inwards in a very personal way.
You can ask yourself important questions like:
- How are you feeling?
- How does your body feel?
- What do you need right now?
Do you see a re-occurring theme here?
3. Sitting in Silence
Sitting in silence can seem a little like meditation but it isn’t quite the same thing. Like we talked about, meditation is about observing your thoughts and reflecting on them. Sitting in silence is simply… sitting in silence.
You’re taking some time to allow the feelings to come to you. Taking a break from all the craziness around you. And you’re essentially doing nothing, which I think we all need to do more.
Typically, we spend all day going through the motions of life without stopping.
We step out of bed, swallow our breakfast with the speed of lightning and drive to work feeling the stress increase as the traffic gets worse. Then we get to work and hardly stop for a full 8 hours or more.
When we get home the work doesn’t stop. We take care of the dog, the kids, cook supper, get stuff ready for the next day and then it’s time for bed. Sounds familiar?
Taking those 5 minutes to just sit and do nothing are heavenly when we’re constantly going go go go. Trust me, those 5 to 10 minutes of doing nothing are going to be amazing!
4. Going for a Walk
Walking allows you to take a moment to move your body, which offers many benefits for your physical well-being but also supports your mental health. (source)
I don’t know about you, but after finishing a lovely walk, I always feel refreshed, energized and my mood has significantly increased. It also gives me some time to think and let my mind wander. And, if I want to be more mindful, I take the time to look inside and see how I’m feeling. Is your experience similar?
There are also a lot of benefits to walking in nature (or doing anything surrounded by nature), like improving your general health and mood. Taking the time to look around and appreciate the present moment can also be beneficial for your psychological health. (source 1, source 2)
However you want to enjoy those walks, there are many advantages to do so!
When we think of stretching, sometimes we think of yoga. Yoga is a wonderful practice that encourages mindfulness and can increase relaxation and reduce stress. (source)
However, if you’re not into yoga, simply taking some time to do some general stretches can allow you to focus on one thing at a time and be more mindful.
Bonus points if you take the time to focus on your breath, see where you’re holding tension and release it. It’s also a great opportunity to check in with yourself and see how you feel.
Even better, stretching offers so many physical benefits we can’t ignore. We’re talking increased range of motion, improved performance and reduced back pain or other pain. Isn’t that great? (source)
6. Any Other Way That Makes You Happy
There are many other ways to connect with yourself.
Maybe you’re a creative soul and you enjoy doing things like painting, knitting, drawing, coloring, etc. Creative activities can help you focus on one thing at a time and be more mindful.
It’s also a helpful way to slow down and check in with your feelings. Feel all your emotions and express them through your art. These emotions need to come out!
If you’re not into creating things, feel free to check-in with yourself in any way that makes you happy and feel good! What matters most is that it works for you.
Ultimately, finding ways to connect with and express your emotions has a significant benefits for your health, mental health and general wellbeing. And taking the time to connect with yourself plays an important role in doing just that. (source)
I dare you to take at least 5 to 10 minutes today and every day to check-in with yourself and allow yourself to feel your emotions! You deserve it! And your health will thank you.
This is Sara taking back the wheel.
Thank you so much for sharing your goodness with us Maryann! Wasn’t that so helpful guys?
I absolutely adore every point on this list! And I’m personally very excited to make stretching a bigger part of my routine. I love using movement as a beautiful way to connect with your lovely self. What about you?
Your turn – how do you like to connect with yourself when you’re short for time? I’d love to hear what you’d add to the list! Let us know in the comments below.
Health and love,
Thought of the day: You are worthy of the same time, love and care that you freely provide to everyone around you.
Maryann Auger, the owner of Mani Fitness, is a certified personal trainer, wellness coach and group fitness instructor. She creates Daily Inspirational Posts where she shares tips, tricks, experience and advice to help you build your healthy balanced lifestyle.
She’s a self-love advocate that strives to help people get fit while loving themselves and their balanced lifestyles. She loves her dog Zea, food, Disney movies and fantasy books.
You can find her goodness right here:
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