I strongly believe that it’s hard to change something if you are unaware that it is a problem. In starting off this challenge, my first tip to everyone is to WAKE UP! Have you experienced days where you just feel like you are on Auto-Pilot? You know the routine, you know the day that lies ahead, and while you may accomplish those tasks, you are completely disconnected from them.
I like to refer to this as Sleep Walking. Those familiar with sleep disorders may know that while you are sleep walking, you are capable of completing complex tasks, however you are not conscious of the activity. In some cases these behaviors can include having conversations with others, eating, driving or having sex. (For more info look into NREM Sleep Arousal Disorders)
The downside of sleep walking through life is that you miss out on what’s really going on around you and how you actually feel about those experiences. A common task adults may sleep walk through is driving. There is the common example of driving to a familiar place but not being able to fully recall your experience in getting there. You might not believe this but you miss out on a lot of opportunities being on auto-pilot while driving. Take it from me, I currently spend about 3 hours a day in my car. Minimum!
Waking up and being fully aware of your feelings, sensations and thoughts in that moment of experience allows you to connect with yourself and REALIZE YOUR NEEDS. In the many roles that we play in our families and communities, how can you expect to continue to be of benefit to them and yourself if you aren’t aware of what’s going on around you and your authentic response to it.
To begin to wake up, I encourage you to get in touch with your five senses. Think about the moment when you actually wake up. You may recognize the familiar smell of your home. You may begin to notice the feeling of your sheets and the softness of your pillow. You start to hear the noises outside your window. In awakening from a dream, it is your connection with these senses that let you know you are back in reality.
Step 1: Identify an activity that you sleep walk through. What moments of your day do you not feel connected to. What relationships might you be sleep walking through?
***This is where the time you put in your calendar will pay off***
Step 2: Complete the worksheet below. I’m providing both a PDF and Word version of this worksheet that are both capable of being completed on your phone/tablet. Save it to your phone or print it out, but do work on it. It is not a requirement to fill in the whole sheet. A few entries will do. Remember your well-being is well worth your time.