brown haired girl looking stressed sitting in front of a laptop

How to check in with yourself

There is no doubt that life gets a little crazy, dysfunctional, or disruptive… hello 2020… and so it’s super important you know how to check in with yourself from time to time.

But what does that even mean?

I’ll often reach out to a friend who I haven’t spoken to in a while to see how they are going – But, I’m the first to admit, I fail to do the same with myself… which begs me to wonder how important asking how you are going to yourself is.

It’s easy to go into avoidance mode from thoughts and feelings during the day. But taking a moment or two to reflect on your daily wellbeing may well and truly help avoid the build-up of tension and stress. And, is the simplest #selfcare practice you can implement into your day-to-day.

Checking in with yourself is a form of mindfulness, and to me, I feel that taking 1-2 minutes to ask myself how/what am I feeling, is a little more attainable than trying to sit still for ten or fifteen minutes a day (can any other restless individuals relate?).

Counselling Directory defined the practice of being mindful as “to purposefully and non-judgementally pay attention to the present moment” – see how they didn’t put a time frame around practising mindfulness?

Mindfulness does not mean you have to try and empty your mind but instead helps you to pay attention to what you might be experiencing at that moment.

Here are some ways you can practice being present by checking in with yourself each day:

Stop – breathe and think

You can do this at any point in your day, it could be during the walk to get coffee, brushing your teeth, the moment before you step out of your car – or even right now! By stopping whatever you are doing (or about to do), and taking a second to breathe in, and out, you can start to check in with how you are feeling.

Identify what you a feeling

Try and place into words the emotions you are feeling. Sometimes emotions like “stressed” or “sad” can be hard to pinpoint, so try to think of any metaphors or pictures that can help explain your inner experience.

“I am feeling all muddled inside”

Acknowledge those emotions

Acknowledging your emotions is accepting what you are feeling. 

“I am feeling all muddled inside about my exam mark and I acknowledge it”

Acknowledging the feeling or situation you are in does not ask for you to react or jump into action to fix it. Rather, accepting how you feel takes away the pressure to move beyond the feeling or shaming yourself for feeling this way. 

Once you’ve acknowledged how you are feeling and are ready, you can come back to yourself and move onto whatever you were doing – hopefully, you will be feeling a tad more present in your next task.

The process of checking in might even help you to decide what to do next… “So, I’m feeling muddled… maybe I’ll go do something I enjoy like taking my doggo for a walk…”

If what you are feeling has been impacting your well-being and you need someone to speak to support is never far for our staff and students at UNE.

Our team at Advocacy and Welfare offers confidential support to students! You can contact us here.
Student Success also has confidential counselling for students, you can find them here.
Lifeline is also a 24/7 hotline and you can call them on 13 11 14