When is the last time you stopped for a moment and just truly checked in with yourself? Like really check in, both physically and mentally? Sometimes we can go a long time without checking in on those we care about and sometimes we can go a long time, or even forever before checking in on ourselves. Being self-aware may seem like it’s not that important but as the late Dr. Wayne Dyer said, “If you don’t take care of yourself, you won’t have anywhere to live.”
As we do our check in today, feel free to write down your answers in a journal/ notebook or pull out your phone and do a voice memo. This way you can look back and see where you were the last time you checked in. If possible, go ahead and cut this part of the paper out and stick it in your journal too! Studies prove that people who become more self-aware and do more “check-ins” tend to increase their overall health. Yet…it’s hard to tell if you have increased, decreased or even stayed the same unless you write it down so you can compare. (It’s kind of like tracking your weight. The number lets you know where you are today! Then you can track if it goes up, down or stays the same.)
Check in questions: (If you are tracking these please add in the date!) There are a lot here so don’t feel you have to do them all at once.
- How are you feeling physically? Any aches, pains or issues?
- How are you sleeping? Do you go to bed at a regular time and wake up at a regular time?
- Are you able to find ways of connecting with others or are you feeling isolated?
- What in your life brings you joy right now?
- What in your life gives you anxiety or worries right now?
- How is your energy level? On a scale of 1-10. 1: you can’t get out of bed in the morning 10: you are up and at it before the alarm.
- How balanced does your life feel between work, fun, relationships, exercise and meaningful pastimes?
- What is your biggest goal right now?
- Do you feel financially stable?
- What makes you feel your healthiest right now?
- What is something you recently did that made you feel accomplished?
- What gives you hope?
- What makes you feel most comfortable?
- Are you feeling overwhelmed lately or that your moods are more extreme than other times?
- Are you able to focus at work and home?
Now that you’ve answered or at least thought about these, how are you? Are you finding that you are feeling at peace, balanced and hopeful or are you stressed, worried and lacking balance? There is no right or wrong answer. The answers just are the reality of how things are right now. Maybe you have gone through the list and feel motivated to do this more often, maybe to journal on each question individually. Maybe the list has you feeling inspired to pay it forward and share some of your joy and energy with others. And just maybe this list has you needing to make some appointments and check in with your physician or a good friend. Maybe these questions brought up other things you want to write down or journal about or share with someone close to you. There’s no limit on how you check in and how far that can take you.
To be 100 percent clear, checking in isn’t self-indulgent – it’s self-awareness. When we are more self-aware, we can make better choices for the greater good of where we are now. If we aren’t self-aware, we could not only be damaging our own health and sabotaging our own work, but we may also be causing our relationships to deteriorate or losing interest in things that used to make us happy. Self-awareness allows us to find out what makes us grow, learn, be happy and healthy.
A Self-Check in is not a competition. It’s not about having the “right answer.” But is about getting to know who you are and where you are right now. It may mean facing some uncomfortable thoughts or dealing with some issues you’d rather sweep under the rug. But at the end of the day, don’t you want to know who you are? Don’t you want to know how you can best care for yourself or if you need support getting there? Take a few moments to check in every day. Take a moment to breathe and see how you are feeling. We think that just by adding in this mindfulness practice you can increase your health, happiness and overall quality of life. When you know who you are and how you feel, you also know how to better care for yourself inside and out. Go ahead – do a self-check in!
Director of The Wellness Center