Five steps to finding your Om
Here at Sweaty Betty, we take pride in living balanced lives – always finding time to fit in exercise and make space for passions outside of our work and family commitments. This season, the Sanskrit word and Hindu mantra ‘Om’ has been a frequent topic of conversation. Sweaty Betty founder Tamara personally believes the meaning of Om extends beyond the parameters of yoga practice. “For me, Om is a moment for you in the busy every day,” she says. “It’s stillness, and a release from creative conflicts and ever-growing to do lists.”
So what characterises those moments of Om? “Physical space is important,” says Tamara. She trades tube journeys for active commutes on her bike, where she can create space around her and draw a line between the time to work and time to unwind. Swimming is another meditative pursuit loved by Tamara. And come the weekend, on her regular family trips to West Wittering, she instils a strict ‘no screens’ rule to help her and her children focus on the opportunities for wellness and leisure without distractions from email and social media.
Here to add another perspective to Sweaty Betty’s discussion about ‘Om’ is Jacqueline Hurst, founder of life coaching school The Life Class. She puts an end to patterns of ‘eat, sleep, work, repeat’ and outlines the 5 steps you need to take to find your Om and rediscover yourself in the process…
1. Slow down
You have to understand that nothing can change when you’re moving at lightning speed, rushing from one thing to the next. Slowing down requires turning your attention inwards and becoming more aware of your feelings and anxieties. Take note of the things you need and the things you want. Now take these mental notes to step 2…
2. Ask the right questions
Being mindful means focusing on the present and exploring courses of action from the starting point of right now. You now hopefully have some idea of the things you want and need, so this is the time to ask yourself some questions about those things. How can I establish better balance between my wants and needs? Am I focusing enough on one thing, or too much on another? What are the activities I most enjoy? How can I make more time for those particular things?
3. Prioritise self-care
This is where you start to incorporate those passions and most-loved activities, prioritising the things that give you the most self-satisfaction. Schedule in that weekly yoga class that helps you feel calmer and more collected. Or go to bed 30 minutes earlier so you can actually squeeze in that morning jog you’ve long resolved to make a regular habit. By all means, book a massage or a facial – making time for little treats will help you stay positive when life picks up the pace.
4. Switch off
A tip already championed by Tamara, switching off from technology has dramatic effects on your sense of wellbeing. As well as banning ‘screen time’ on holidays and special occasions, make a point to disconnect at certain times of the day. Get away from your desk at lunch, and put down your smartphone at least 30 minutes before bed so your brain begins to recognise this as a signal for sleep and relaxation.
5. Ban the word ‘selfish’
Many of my clients and students believe that making themselves a priority is selfish, but the opposite is true. It's your duty to take care of you, and it's imperative to remember you cannot give what you do not have. Taking care of your needs and doing the things you love are your duty to you, your soul and your happiness. Only then can you truly expend the right energy in taking care of everyone and everything else. When it comes to your greatest joys, it’s time to kick the word ‘selfish’ to the curb.