As I’ve been exploring things which support my wellness journey, I’ve learned the importance of checking in and checking out.
Checking in comes naturally to me. I’m someone who enjoys helping others, but it was getting to the point where I was stressing myself out. I noticed this pattern and had to make some changes. I had to be intentional about reserving space and time for myself and especially for my family. Essentially I started checking out and I noticed I felt better. Less stress. Pulled in fewer directions.
Here’s what I’ve been doing:
Checking in: I’ll text the people closest to me and say hi, ask how they’re doing, follow up on something I know they’ve been struggling with. I would immediately respond to text messages and have a nagging feeling if I didn’t.
Checking out: I don’t do that anymore. I respond when I’m able and I’m doing my best not to apologize if it’s not immediate.
Checking in: I’m a millennial so I would rather text versus talk on the phone. It doesn’t mean I won’t dial out or not pick up, it just means texting is easier for me.
Checking out: I no longer pick up the phone if I’m not in a space where I want to have a conversation. Nothing against the person calling, ever. I just know I’m a better listener when I actually want to talk on the phone.
Checking in: I like to attend family gatherings and functions (not so much since Covid) and would make myself crazy trying to be everywhere.
Checking out: I no longer overcommit or immediately say yes to everything. It was a challenge for me at first because I always felt as if I was letting someone down. I’m learning that I’m hard on myself and placing numerous stresses on me that aren’t necessary. My family and friends understand when I can’t make it.
These are just a few examples of new behaviors I’m working on. Knowing when I need to take care of myself is new to me. Understanding that I’m human and can only do so much is hard for me. Working to better myself is life saving for me. By making just a few changes, it helps me be better. Checking in with friends and loved ones will always be important. Checking out is as equally important.
Tell me, what are some of the things you do to take care of yourself?