Showing Yourself the Care You Deserve Through Self Check-ins
How are you doing?
We ask this question to others all of the time. We are out for a walk or at the store and we see someone that we haven’t seen in a while. It is only natural to say an enthusiastic “Hello!” and then we ask, “How are you doing?” We ask people how they are doing because we really care- we want to know what they have been up to and how they are holding up.
This has become even more important in the ever-changing world that we live in- we want to know how people are holding up with all of the changes and anxieties that come with it. We want to know how people are doing. We want to know if we can help them. We want to know their stories. We care.
When we ask others how they are doing, we often get a conversation that goes a little something like this:
“It’s great to see you! How are you doing?”
“Good. How are you?”
“What have you been up to?”
“Not much. How about you?”
“It was great to see you. We should get together sometime!”
You know this conversation. You have had this conversation. This conversation happens for so many reasons. Maybe it is not the place to have a meaningful conversation. Maybe it is not the person to have a meaningful conversation with. Maybe it hurts to talk about what you are really feeling. Maybe you are going through something that you can’t even put into words. We have this type of conversation because we want to avoid digging deep. We want to avoid our feelings, and sometimes, we want to avoid thinking about our current reality. This is an understandable (and even healthy) way to approach any small-talk conversation, but often we find ourselves having this same type of conversation with ourselves.
We may even avoid asking ourselves, “How am I doing?” We may not really want to know the answer to this question because we know that it is not the answer we want, so we avoid asking it altogether.
There are times when conversations with others move beyond this surface-level exchange. If it is the right moment to answer with honesty and you are with someone who knows how to dig deeper and listen thoughtfully. This conversation may begin a bit like this:
“I am so happy to see you! How are you doing?”
“Things have been better.”
“Oh no! What is going on?“
"Things are a bit complicated right now with
everything that is going on.”
“They are. How are you holding up?"
We all have also had conversations that begin something like this. Conversations that begin like this allow us to be honest, dig deeper, and build relationships. Conversations that begin like this show that we care.
We ask others about how they are doing because we care. We want to know how they are doing. We want to build connections with them. We want to offer them support. We all need conversations that invite us to dig a little deeper; conversations that invite us to be honest about what we are feeling and experiencing help us to understand each other better. These conversations also invite us to understand ourselves better.
Which kind of conversation do you have with yourself?
When you stop to ask yourself how you are doing, do you tell yourself, "I'm fine" and move on or do you encourage yourself to dig a little deeper?
We ask others about how they are doing because we care. We want to know how they are doing. We want to build connections with them. We want to offer them support.
We can show ourselves we care by asking, “How am I doing?”
Starting this conversation with yourself can be hard. It can be even harder to ask yourself the questions that invite you to answer honestly.
You are someone worth caring about.
The first step toward having a meaningful conversation with yourself is to find a moment of quiet to check-in. Finding this moment can be difficult, especially as the time that we spend at home with our families increases. Carve out a moment for yourself before the family is awake, after they go to bed, or even while they are absorbed in some screen-time!
Having a meaningful conversation with yourself will look different for everyone. For some people, they will just simply want to sit in peaceful silence, while others will want to talk aloud to themselves. Some people like to write to process their feelings. This could be in a journal that you keep or on a piece of paper that you will later destroy. Some people think best outside in nature, while others like to find a quiet and comfortable spot in their homes.
There is no "right way" to have a conversation with yourself. It is just important for you to dedicate a few moments to yourself.
Once you have found your moment. Now is the time to ask yourself the questions that allow you to dig deeper and start this meaningful conversation.
Check-with Your Body
How is my body feeling?
Am I feeling tired, slow, achy, or any physical discomfort?
Am I feeling energized, clear-headed, strong?
Am I sleeping well?
Am I eating food that makes me feel good?
Check-in With Your Emotions
What am I feeling right now?
Am I feeling overwhelmed, anxious, or worried?
Am I feeling lonely or isolated?
Am I feeling connected, peaceful, optimistic?
You can follow up on your answers to these questions by asking:
Why am I feeling this way?
Do I need help?
Do I need time?
Do I need space?
Do I need to talk to someone?
You may not find all of the answers that you are looking for, but taking a moment to ask yourself, “How are you doing?” shows that you care about yourself.
You are worthy of this time.
You are worthy of this compassion.
We get so busy living our lives and powering through all of our obligations and challenges, that we can easily overlook our own needs. You care about others and want to know how they are doing-- you want to know if you can help them. When you take the time to really ask yourself, “How are you doing?” you may start yourself on the journey to finding the help that you need. Caring for ourselves helps us to care for others.