How are you today? Has your week been filled with joy, happiness and fun, or are you feeling a bit lost, scared and unsure. Perhaps you are a mixture of both, which would be usual for all. We all have ups and downs, maybe even more so at this moment in time. How do you ensure you don’t forget to take a moment to check in with yourself to make sure all is ok?
All you need is a few minutes, if that. If you’ve done yoga or meditation you will have likely done a body scan. You will be lying down or comfortably seated and focusing on your body, take each part in turn to see how it’s doing, finding the areas with any aches, pains or tension. You’ll move up or down your body, some people start with their feet and others their head, it doesn’t matter. Mindfully check and scan your body for any issues. For me I usually notice the tension in my left hip – no idea when I started storing tension there but it’s often not until I do a body scan during yoga that I am aware of it. It’s a worth while exercise to do and you may be surprised with the areas that come up for you.
I’m not suggesting you do a body scan like this each day, but if you did, you will quickly become aware of the areas that may require your attention. But take this idea and do it whilst seated at your desk, no need to close your eyes and you don’t have to spend too long, just check in on your feet, ankles, legs, hips, stomach, back, hands, wrists, arms, shoulders, neck, jaw, face and head. You might decide to do it first thing when you wake up or when you are watching tv, maybe just before you go to sleep at night. If you come across an area of tension or aches, breathe into it, take a couple of long breaths and send the out breath to that ache or tension that you’ve become aware of.
If there is an area that is a constant source of tension or pain, then take time to look into that, find out what could be causing it, don’t ignore it. If it’s tension, think about ways to help, yoga, a massage (looking forward to being able to have one of those at somepoint), perhaps a chat with your manager if it is about work, or just take a moment to breath and let the tension lift. I know it is easier said than done, which is why you may need to experiment and find what works best for you at that moment.
You’ve checked in with your body, what about your mind and your own mental wellbeing? How do you check in on that? You could make it part of the scan above, or you could do it separately. It’s possible you’re already doing it but just aren’t aware. For example, you’re in the shower in the morning and getting ready for work, you head feels foggy and you don’t want to think about what the day ahead is looking like, you feel jittery and wish you could go back to bed and hide under the duvet. But that’s not a possibility as you have so much to do. You’ve not directly asked yourself ‘how are you doing?’ or ‘how are you feeling?’, you’ve just run through it yourself. The key to this would be to stop and think about why your head feels foggy, is this an everyday occurrence or just today? Is work the route cause or do you feel the world is against you?
Pick your thoughts apart, you might not have a lot of time in the shower to do this, but start to think about it and write down the reasons you think, know or feel could be the cause. Maybe it’s just a one off feeling because you had a run in with a colleague and don’t want to talk to them today.
Maybe you run or walk and check in with yourself then, you go through things in your head and any worries or fears are alleviated as you pound the pavements. Quite often you will be unaware you’re answering the ‘how are you’ question. But if you keep asking yourself and are struggling and aren’t sure what to do or where to go or even what the heck is happening, then please please speak to someone, a friend, relative, colleague, therapist or that person you meet daily on your walk. Please don’t feel alone or unsure what to do. Think about how you would react if someone reached out to you, no matter how small you would help them in some way and your friends etc will do the same for you.
Checking in with ourselves, both physically and mentally is important, whether you do it intentionally or not. Making sure your body is physically fit and capable and your mental wellbeing is checked regularly so that any issues, concerns or worries are met head on will help you to live the life you want.
Take care, have a good week, check in with yourself and look after you!
Love Emma xxx