Are you checking in with yourself?
Megan Roberts | Calgary Certified Grief Recovery Specialist and Life Coach
We often assess how our relationships with others are doing or our relationships with work, food, or exercise. We rarely ask ourselves about our relationship with ourselves or our personal desires.
This practice is so important for our mental health and it must be done regularly. We often give so much of ourselves to our partners, our jobs, and our families that we tend to forget to turn inward and make sure the person who is doing all the giving isn’t just running on fumes.
I, for one, ask myself these questions below often, and I usually ask my partner as well, so we are both on the same page as to what’s going on. Some of the questions I like to ask myself, and him include:
How are you feeling? – I don’t just ask this as a rhetorical question. I genuinely want to discover the real answer. A memory that comes to my mind often when I think about the question, “How are you” occurred back when my Aunt passed away in 2012.
She had been battling cancer for about a year, and my family and I were in and out of the hospital regularly, just praying she would get better. Our family is very close, and losing any member of it, especially so young, was something none of us could have prepared for.
Despite our hopes and prayers and what we thought was a remission, we lost her. I remember going into work shortly after, and as I was walking past a colleague, she asked me, “How are you?” I responded with the usual, “I am fine” and continued on my way. She asked me to follow her into the bathroom as she had something she wanted to ask me about.
Once we were in the bathroom, she said, “so how are you really?”. I broke down instantly. I had been holding it in every time I went to work, and most people were quite satisfied with the response, “I am fine,” but this lady was not, and for that, I was so grateful. I have shared that story often because those types of interactions don’t happen often. Not with other people and certainly not within ourselves.
Please take the time regularly to ask yourself how you are doing and allow yourself to hear the real answer.
To that colleague, if you are reading this, and you remember that interaction, it made a massive impact on my life and reminded me not to ask people empty questions. If you ask the question, prepare to open your heart up for the answer.
What do you need more of? – When you are going through your day, try to notice the things that make you feel relaxed, even if it’s as simple as a quiet cup of coffee or a good book. These moments of pure bliss will be different for everyone, but try to pinpoint what it is for that makes your day feel content. Our lives get so busy, and we often forget about the process of recharging. Intentionally allocating time to do the things that fuel our soul will make a significant difference in not only how we feel but how we show up.
What do you need less of? – While you are in the process of figuring out what you need more of, I strongly encourage you to think about what you might need less of. This one might take some serious interpersonal work, and it may require you to step out of denial in some cases. There are things in life like social media, unhealthy foods, alcohol, smoking, drugs, toxic people, Netflix, etc. etc. that just aren’t helping you.
This one is tough because often the things we love the most are those things that are the absolute worst for us. We come up with the best excuses for why we think we should keep these things in our lives. Well, I only drink once and a while, when really it’s pretty much every day and sometimes way too much. Or, I can’t completely cut that person off because they are in my family when really, cutting that person out of your life would make the most significant impact on your wellbeing.
The excuses can be never-ending, and I am not saying you have to give up on things entirely. If these things are causing a rift in your productivity or day to day functioning, though, you need to consider limiting their existence in your life. This isn’t always easy but maybe if you practice what it feels like without said thing, even just for a week, I am pretty sure you will see how refreshing it is and it just might make it a bit easier to say goodbye.
Obviously, those with severe addictions or who are in a relationship that would be dangerous to step away from, I recommend seeking help and not trying to eliminate these things on your own. Still, even in those cases, it is possible. Not easy. Likely very difficult, BUT POSSIBLE.
Are you on track? – Have you set some goals recently or have deadlines that are slowly creeping up? Are you getting the things done that need to be done? What about that new exercise program? Sometimes we need to check in with ourselves to see if we are on track. If we determine the answer is a firm NO, what is it that has led us off track?
Is it one thing our a pile of things that just kept accumulating? Once you determine what it is that has created obstacles for you, you can begin to formulate a plan. We all fall off track sometimes, and you need to be gentle on yourself when this happens, but always try to get back on. The longer you spend off track, the harder it will be to gain momentum again.
We all know this, and yet it can still be so difficult.
What is the most logical next step? If you have fallen off track or you are stuck, it is essential to figure out what the next logical step is.
For example, if you own a business or you are in the middle of building one, what is the next thing you need to do to move it forward or to ensure it continues to operate. If you aren’t asking yourself these questions regularly, you or your business can become stagnant. Make a list of what’s next and finally;
What is one thing you can do today to feel better or to move forward? – Once you have gone through questions one through five, ask yourself this, what is one thing you can do today to feel better or to move forward?
You would be surprised how powerful one fifteen-minute walk outside can be for someone who is drowning. These next steps don’t have to be huge; they just need to be intentional. If you have big dreams or even smaller dreams, tiny steps each day WILL make a difference. If you practice this consistently, YOU WILL see results.
The results may not always be what you want, but a negative result can lead to clarity, and clarity will keep you moving forward.
Negative results that lead you somewhere are better than no results that lead you NOWHERE.
If you check in with yourself and determine you are, in fact, right on track, content, and going through your days with intention, celebrate. Celebrate those wins and give yourself a massive pat on the back.
We are so quick to judge ourselves when we fall apart, but we don’t spend nearly enough time recognizing the wins, even the small ones. Life can be so hard sometimes, and we’ve all experienced that, so when you are in a season of your life where things are going great, and you wouldn’t change a thing, embrace it.
“Meg Roberts is an experienced life coach in Calgary offering grief support and life coaching. As a Grief Recovery Method specialist and as someone who has overcome her share of grief over time, Meg is an empathetic coach with a unique perspective on love and life. Book a discovery meeting with Meg to get started on the road to healing and recovery.”