Last week on the podcast in the episode titled, Understanding Mental Health, our guest Ruth Baah-Gyebi, MSc, RRT, RP mentioned the importance of checking in with ourselves. This week I will explore what it means to check in with ourselves and how to do it.
Checking in with yourself basically means to pause and assess your thoughts and feelings. Sometimes we move through the day so quickly, hopping from one appointment to the next, from one activity to another that we don’t notice our feelings. Are we hungry? Are we tired? Are we happy? Are we sad? What’s our body telling us?
Taking a moment to be self-aware helps us to not only identify our feelings but it helps us begin to identify why. For example, if you notice that you’re hungry and you start to think about why, you may realize that it’s now 3pm and you haven’t eaten all day.
Checking in with ourselves can improve our mood and relationships. When we begin to recognize what the root problem is we can address it accordingly in order to have a better outcome. Using the food example again, recognizing that we are irritable because we haven’t eaten could stop us from taking that frustration out on someone who just happened to cross our path at the wrong time.
One of the most popular ways of taking stock of our feelings is by keeping a journal. Some people journal daily. It is a habit that I am trying to develop as well. As with any habit one way to stay consistent is to establish a routine, for example, set a reminder in your phone or calendar to take a pause to write. Alternatively, try to make it your before bed routine to take 15 minutes to reflect on the day. Some prompts you can use are:
What bothered me today?
What went well?
What am I grateful for?
Is there anything that I’m avoiding doing? Why?
Are there any feelings I’m struggling with right now that I have been unable to deal with on my own? Could I benefit from professional help with this?
Check in with yourself, monitor your emotions. If you feel like you could benefit from professional help, don’t be afraid to seek it. Listen to last week’s episode to hear what it’s like to be in a therapy session and what the benefits of seeing a therapist are.
If you journal, let me know what your favourite prompts are.
See you in the cafe next week!