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How Olivia Amato Shakes the Sunday Scaries

YC instructor Olivia Amato shares her tips for finding balance, calming your mind and sprinting into a new week with strength and SOUL…

A photo posted by Olivia Amato (@oamato) on

A typical week for you is…
Busy, stressful and always changing! I teach all around the city (uptown, downtown, east side and west side) and usually have three to four castings a week downtown so I'm constantly running from place to place.

That sounds seriously busy!
It's fun, but sometimes I find that I need to slow down, take a second to live in the moment and just BREATHE. It sounds silly but it's so important and has really helped me in my day to day. I've found that I always need to allow myself at least 30 minutes a day to relax my thoughts, take some deep breathes and just be in the moment.

That’s great advice/ Do you have any other specific activities that help you unwind?
Reading a good book, breathing exercises and cooking.

What does the beginning of a new week mean to you?
To me, the beginning of a week is an opportunity to do something new and/or to continue improving on something I've been working on. I'm a big fan of checklists and planners (it’s the nerd in me) so I always go back and check to see if I've accomplished everything I wanted to in the past week, and then make new goals and reminders for the new week just to make sure I'm staying on track.

A photo posted by Olivia Amato (@oamato) on

Do you get the Sunday Scaries? If so, how do you rid yourself of them?
I don't anymore but I definitely used to back in my finance days! If I could go back, I would tell myself to chill and to think of all the good in my life (which relates back to that “finding the light” situation I talked about earlier). Life gets hard and some times we spend so much of our energy focusing on the bad that we forget about all the good. Taking a second to appreciate all the amazing people in my life, everything I get to enjoy and being present in the moment truly helps me whenever I'm feeling down!

It’s amazing what positive thinking can do! Do you have any advice for those who are new to slowing down and focusing on breath?
Try I meditation app like Headspace! Because I'm so active and constantly on the go, it's definitely not easy for me to slow down and totally relax my body and mind. But there are so many helpful apps, and even though it’s a work in progress, I'm getting better at it each day!

Does anything else help you unwind and reset for a new week?
Treating myself to something, whether it's getting a manicure or watching a few episodes of How I Met Your Mother. Anything where I can just shut off for a bit is really helpful to me! I've also been to Higher Dose in NYC a few times on Sundays. It's infrared heat therapy where you sweat out toxins for 30 to 60 minutes, and leaves me feeling energized with a clear head and ready for the new week.

Do you have any specific Sunday night ritual?
Umi Sushi on 32st Street and Park Avenue with my boyfriend!

How does SOUL help you prepare for a new week?
SOUL helps me prepare for a new week because I get to set my schedule around my classes and think about what I want to talk about with everyone! Having that set schedule grounds me and motivates me to practice what I preach and lead by example!

Why is self-care, especially on the cusp of a new week, important to you?
I believe mindfulness, self-care and balance are all extremely important in life, and I think it's something we all could use a little work on. When you are hardworking and self-motivated, you often forget to take a minute for yourself. I've found taking a step back really improves the quality of life and allows you to appreciate everything around you more!

What Sunday night mantra do you tell yourself each week?
One of my goals for the New Year is to find the light in all situations — even if it's harder to find at times, it's always there. So as I begin a new week, I have been telling myself, regardless of what's happening in my life, ”Let's make this week exciting. A new week equals new opportunities and a chance to start fresh if I need to."

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Article by Olivia Amato
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