The World Health Organization has declared stress as the “health epidemic of the 21st Century.” In today’s work culture, feeling immense amounts of stress, burn out, and anxiety, is normalized. Many individuals focus so heavily on their professional lives, that they neglect to take care of their physical and mental wellbeing. Lolita Scesnaviciute Guarin is a licensed stress management life coach, four-time best selling author, Reiki master, sound healing practitioner, and owner of her company, Be Amazing You. Most of all, Guarin is a dedicated individual who is committed to helping her clients find balance in their work and personal life, while navigating their journey to healing.
The modern workplace culture has shifted drastically within the past decade. Between remote work becoming more common and fluctuations within the job market, many individuals have found themselves navigating this new world of professionalism and stress management.
Stress in itself is declared as the health epidemic of the 21st Century from the World Health Organization, and the experience of burnout has only increased in recent years. Many workers are finding it nearly impossible to balance their work and personal life, leading them to work themselves to the point of physical and mental exhaustion.
So what can we do to better manage our emotions and prioritize our personal well beings while being the best professional we can be? Lolita Guarin has been working on helping others find that equilibrium for years now, and after having her own burnout experience which placed her in the hospital, she’s become an expert in ways to find inner peace, healing, and balance in all aspects of life.
Through her company Be Amazing You, she offers her clients a multitude of paths to take to get them to a place of healing.
“I’ve always been passionate about helping people, so when I learned more about the process of becoming a certified and licensed stress management and life coach, I knew that it was something I needed to pursue, so I could help others find the same sense of fulfillment and healing within themselves.”
Lolita’s journey is the embodiment of the American Dream. While she was able to truly make a name for herself since coming to the United States, she faced many challenges that led her to the place of strength she’s in today.
“I have a background in geography, and when I came to the US from Lithuania, I was working within small companies in your standard corporate environment. I was here to achieve the American Dream, and I think through that process I adopted a work attitude that a lot of people can relate to; working over time, taking on projects because you’re afraid to say no, generally pleasing, basically all the standard things that we associate with burnout.
Through that process, I realized that my health began to suffer due to overworking myself and not giving myself time to take care of my body and mind. I wouldn’t even give myself the time to have a normal lunch, and my daily exercise was the movement I did from my desk to the restroom. My life was centered around working then going home, eating whatever I could find in the fridge, and collapsing in my bed while mentally preparing to do it all again tomorrow.
It was so draining, and that was reflected in my physical health. Even when you’re doing something that you’re extremely passionate about, you can only go so long before realizing that you need to make a change in order to prioritize your health and inner peace,” Guarin explained.
Guarin discussed how she got to a point where she felt so physically drained that she ended up in the emergency room. This became a major turning point in her life, as she realized she needed to start focusing on taking care of herself, and putting her own physical and mental health above anything.
“It’s a difficult realization to come to, so often when we feel overwhelmed and exhausted, we’re given the solution of simply going to the doctor and finding some sort of medical solution to get us through our day-to-day, but I didn’t want to have to medicate myself just so I could get through every day.”
Lolia began to explore more natural kinds of healing, with the goal of making changes to her lifestyle without needing to give up the things she loved, which included working.
“When you think about it, having no stress at all in life is impossible. When you go outside and it’s cold, you’ll go grab a sweater, because your body sends you stress signals that it’s uncomfortable. In that instance and many others, stress is a good thing when it can be controlled, so how do you find that stable middle ground?”
Lolita began practices such as yoga, meditation, and saying no to things that would overwhelm her, and started to notice a major shift in her time management skills. She invested her time and energy into herself, and began leading a life of enjoyment, which included working.
As she progressed in her journey, she would share her methods of balancing the stressors of work and life in general with her peers, who we’re so thankful for her advice that she was told multiple times that she should get into coaching to reach a wider population of people, and give them the same strength that she was continuously gaining.
“I remember reading a book about how to grow my business as a certified and licensed stress management and life coach, and the author was explaining her upbringing in a house with an alcoholic and the intricacies of the trauma that comes along with it. I had this moment where I realized that kids who grow up in those situations can often be overlooked or misunderstood because of the ways in which they process and express their trauma.
It was a lightbulb moment for me in regards to why I was such a people pleaser, and often accommodated others needs above my own. This fear of abandonment had been festering within me for so long, and at this point I was around 30, so to have that sort of clarity as to why I was the way I was offered a sense of clarity and relief.
I was hypervigilant and anxious when things would even go slightly wrong, expecting the worst with no real image of a solution,” Guarin stated.
Lolita utilized her newfound knowledge and experience to write books on the subjects as well, so she could help as many people as possible. The newest Amazon #1 Bestseller “Stress Management for Adult Children of Alcoholics” just released back in May.”
Beyond just being a licensed stress management and life coach, she’s also a four-time best selling author, Reiki master, sound healing practitioner, and owner of her company, Be Amazing You.
“Childhood experiences and traumas appear in our adult lives in ways that we don’t even realize, and it took me so long to get to that point of understanding. I knew from that journey that I wanted to be able to help others give a reasoning behind their reactions and feelings. Learning to not take things personally was the final piece of the puzzle for me when it came to understanding myself. That combined with my personal work managing stress and overworking myself to the point of exhaustion created such a clear picture of why I was the way I was.”
“To get a little more specific, when you’re a child in an environment with an addict caregiver, obviously you as a child have done nothing wrong, but it’s impossible to see that from your perspective growing up. You take on the guilt and shame of the addiction and internalize it as something that you could’ve helped with.
It’s similar to the mentality that children of divorce unfortunately take on, blaming themselves for the failure of a relationship and splitting of a family. Even though you eventually grow up and start to understand that you were just a kid who was brought up in a troubling environment, those childhood experiences stick with you, and manifest in many different ways as you navigate adulthood.
That’s one of the biggest aspects I try to get across with the individuals I help when we’re specifically looking into their pasts and how it may have molded them into the person they are today. It’s integral to this process that my clients recognize they’re not broken because of the experiences they had growing up, they may be bent, but never broken.
Even when I was on my own journey, and came to terms with the pieces of my past that manifested in my tendencies to overwork myself and please everyone around me without thinking of myself and what I wanted, I was so scared that there was no hope for me, and these reactions we’re just permanently embedded into my personality, but I was so wrong. We all can achieve happiness and balance in our lives, coming to terms with our realities and our pasts is hard, but it’s the first step to something much greater.”
Lolita’s own work on herself had aided her greatly in her career as a stress management and life coach. She now also has appeared on over 30 podcasts and TV shows and does speaking engagements to discuss her expertise.
“Being able to say that I understand myself fully now, and going through that process helps me get the people I help to the same place. I speak from experience because I want everyone to know that it’s always possible to balance yourself and work on things that will make life enjoyable.”
“Growing up in traumatizing environments can often lead to a repetition of the cycle. Most children of addicts will say that their parents had a rough childhood which led them to finding a means of numbing that pain. It can quickly become a generational cycle, and it takes truly wanting to change for yourself to break it. This is also why I often discuss how we need an increase in resources for the family members and children of addicts so that they can give themselves strength, remove the blame from themselves, and find a path towards peace and happiness,” Guarin said.
When Lolita first started her company, Be Amazing You, she started with one-on-one consultations, and as she grew in her career, she expanded the business so she could help as many individuals as possible. She created online courses, allowing her to work with people from all over the world who are seeking her expertise in being the best individual, and professional, they can be.
The online membership “Stress Management for Adult Children of Addicts”, was recently launched, and works on a monthly basis to tackle one major issue at a time. A yearlong donation based online course, “Life Without Limits” hosted through Wellness Universe also worth checking out. Lolita keeps continuously working on expanding and creating more courses to fit with her clients specific wants and needs as they navigate through their childhood traumas, workplace stressors, and overwhelming feelings of not being good enough.
We all can relate to feeling lost and overcome with stress in one way or another, these moments in life are unavoidable, but not detrimental. Lolita gives her clients the chance to reflect and process their emotions in a safe space of empathy and assistance.
Guarin has also been involved in many speaking engagements, where she discusses a lot of her philosophies and personal journey to balance and success. She provides a real sense of warmth and comfort, and you can tell from speaking with her right away that she cares very deeply about the work she does and helping others. Her journey with her business has always been rooted in reaching and helping as many people as possible, and that’s exactly what she’s doing.
Stress management and burnout in the workplace has always been an issue, but in today’s job climate it’s especially predominant. Lolita explained that some of the most common issues she’s seen with her clients in recent years and months has to do with time management and giving yourself breaks throughout the day to just breathe and separate yourself from the tasks at hand.
One of the techniques she recommends involves setting an alarm on your phone for every hour to give yourself one minute to do nothing. Take that minute to close your eyes and disconnect from your professional brain to allow your mind and body to take a break. Clearing your mind consistently can give you the chance to recharge and dive back into your work when the minutes are up with a more relaxed demeanor.
Guarin also is an advocate for the Pomodoro Technique, which “is a time management method based on 25 – 45 minute stretches of focused work broken by five-minute breaks. Longer breaks, typically 15 to 30 minutes, are taken after four consecutive work intervals.”
“When I’m explaining this technique to my clients I often prompt them to raise their hands and keep them raised as I continue to speak. After a while, your hand is going to feel heavy and the act of keeping it raised becomes strenuous. This is a representation of what it’s like when you continuously work with no breaks. The longer you go, the more stressed you’ll feel, so taking those breaks to ‘put your hand down’ will allow you to raise it again and hold it for longer with more focus.”
“It’s very important to take time every day, throughout the day, to give yourself a break. Especially if you work from home, or at a desk all day, it’s important to move your body, do stretches, deep breathing, just to recenter yourself and give yourself the opportunity to do your work with a clearer mind.
However, a crucial aspect of these methods is your mentality behind them; which is where childhood trauma and one’s past experiences with stress and time management come into play. If you utilize these techniques with the attitude that they won’t work for you, then it won’t. You have to at least give yourself the chance to try.
I often ask my clients who aren’t confident in these methods ‘why’ they think it won’t, because at the end of the day, the basis of all these teachings and techniques is to balance yourself, so why don’t you believe that you can get to that place?”
“These are the moments where life coaching begins to intertwine with stress management. We need to figure out why exactly one doesn’t feel like they can take breaks throughout the day, why do they have to over exert themselves to please others, and why don’t they think they’re worthy enough to balance themselves and get to a place where they’re not constantly stressed about what they’re doing?”
Everything we do is ensuring our survival, even if we can’t see it. One of the questions that I always ask my clients when they present me with their particular issues is ‘how is this serving you?’ and it’s often met with some frustration.
For example, if I have a client who feels overworked, who is constantly being asked to do more in their workplace but isn’t confident enough to say something, I’ll ask the question. They’ll normally respond by saying that it’s not serving them, however, it is. They don’t ask their boss to dial back on the workload, because they’re so used to pleasing people, and to them, constantly saying yes is solidifying their position in the workplace and keeping them safe; and this translates to individuals who experienced trauma as well and the way they live their lives as an adult.
We protect ourselves and keep our heads down so as to not draw any attention to ourselves, positive or negative, because we feel staying neutral is safe, even if it costs us our mental and physical wellbeing,” Lolita explained.
Guarin is experienced and trained in Reiki and sound healing techniques as well. Part of her personal philosophy is that everything in life is energy. Your thoughts create an emotional reaction which your body then reacts to, everything’s connected.
“I once read a book that described healers as the person who can inspire another person to see the guidance they need to do for themselves and accept that journey, so they can find healing within themselves. I believe that we can use all kinds of tools and techniques to heal ourselves but it’s about the individual believing that it’s possible for them. You have to fully accept that you have the ability to heal before you can start the actual journey, which can arguably be the hardest part.
My goal is always to inspire the person I’m helping to believe in themselves and the possibility of balancing themselves. That first step is the most crucial, you have to have confidence in your ability to heal before taking the steps to actually do so, and I will continue to help as many people as possible to give themselves that chance,” Lolita concluded.
Eric Mastrota is a Contributing Editor at The National Digest based in New York. A graduate of SUNY New Paltz, he reports on world news, culture, and lifestyle. You can reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org.