Do you want to spend more time focused on your wellbeing but not too sure where to start or how to incorporate it into your daily life?
Or maybe you love the idea of doing this but the thought of dedicating your time to one more thing on your ‘to do’ list actually makes you want to cry a little?
If this resonates, then keep reading because this is for you!
Getting caught up in day-to-day life is so common: going into auto-pilot mode, walking through life without really thinking about it is somewhere we can all get stuck.
This can happen so easily when life gets busy and we get into routines and habits that leave us unable to look after ourselves or check in. I know things aren’t going well for me when I’m wondering where my phone is whilst holding it- that is always a sign for me that I need to take a step back!
The key to getting unstuck in this rut of mindlessly going through life is to create a space-no matter how tiny- for reflection. A time to check in with yourself about what you’re actually doing and how you feel about it.
Why checking in with yourself is so important
Checking in with yourself is a way to stay connected with where you're at and what you need day-to-day. When we don’t do this (because we get too busy and well- life) we start to neglect ourselves and end up feeling overly tired, stressed, frustrated, and eventually burnt-out.
By checking in with ourselves we can observe ourselves and address any of our needs that need tending to before they build up into more complicated problems.
How to check in with yourself
There are a lot of different ways you can do this and I’ve put an option for you below that I like to use personally, as well as professionally with clients. This can be as short or long as you’d like and can be done daily, weekly or monthly- whatever works for you and whatever you think will be the most helpful. The key is the more you do it, the more automated it will become to the point where you won’t have to consciously think about it as much.
What’s your mood been like recently? Have there been any challenges? If so, is there anything you can do about it? Any wins or meaningful moments?
It’s important to check in with your mood so that you understand how you’re feeling. How you are REALLY feeling. Not the ‘fine’ or ‘good’ that you tell people when they ask how you are. It can be so easy for us to glaze over this and get stuck into the nuts and bolts of everyday life without ever giving ourselves any time to truly reflect on how we’re finding/responding to day-to-day life.
Have you had your daily dose of movement? Every little bit helps!
Our bodies hold all of our stress and tension so it’s important to move them to get this all out. This doesn’t necessarily mean a workout per se, just movement in whatever way works for you: walk, gym, swim, dancing, yoga, simple stretches...etc.
3. Expressing feelings
Have you been able to express how you're feeling in some way? Maybe talk to someone to avoid bottling up emotions?
When we hold on to our feelings or things that are bothering us, they tend to very quickly grow from a molehill to a mountain. When we express our feelings/thoughts in some way (talking to someone, writing it down, saying it all in a voice note...etc), we are able to identify and label our experience and also create some space between ourselves and the thoughts/feelings to help gain perspective. This helps us stop bottling everything up.
Have you done something just for you this week? No matter how small, anything and everything counts!
I define self-care as anything that helps you refresh and replenish yourself. That can be something as small as making your favourite hot drink to something bigger, like booking off the whole afternoon for some down time or creating stronger boundaries.
Whatever this looks like for you, how often do you get it? It will look different everyday and be dependent on what’s happening in your life, but I always encourage people to take tiny, small actions for themselves even in the busiest of times.
5. Compassionate self-talk
How have you been talking to yourself? Are you speaking to yourself with understanding and kindness?
HOW YOU SPEAK TO YOURSELF MATTERS. I’m going to write that again. HOW YOU SPEAK TO YOURSELF MATTERS.
Sometimes we can be our own worst critic and say things to ourselves that we would never dream of saying to another human being. I am guilty of this myself and am sometimes horrified to say out loud what I’ve just thought to myself in my head!
We tend to think that if we criticise ourselves, we’ll feel more motivated; however, there is a lot of research (contact me for more information if interested) that shows that criticising ourselves actually does the opposite of what we think it will. What motivates us is compassion. Showing ourselves kindness and understanding (particularly in moments of struggle) can be incredibly powerful.
Think of a ‘go to person’ you have when you’re struggling. Think of how they treat you, what they say to you, how they make you feel. I encourage you to start practicing how you can be that person for yourself and give yourself that compassion and understanding. It’s not easy to do, but setting the intention and practicing what this might look like for you can be a good place to start.
You can get your own downloadable copy of the check in here.
Now, if this feels like too much, then choose one or two of the points to focus on first. Then build in the others as you get more comfortable going through the process. Also remind yourself that this is a habit you are building into your life- it takes time and practice to get used to it and do it regularly.
Also, this isn’t meant to be another chore or task to complete. So if you come at it as completing a tick box exercise, you probably won’t find it very valuable. It's important to remember that creating change takes work and a making a conscious effort is required.
If this is something you struggle with, just think about it as a reminder to take a pause and slow yourself down. It's in these moments that we can remind ourselves of what's important. Where we can discover what we need to find a little bit of peace and clarity amongst all of the chaos.
And if this is something you’re finding difficult, contact me to see how I can help you check in and get the most from this tool.