Advice I Give My Friends That I Should Listen To: Self Check-In Edition

If you’re like me, you give great advice to the people that you care about. If you’re also like me, you don’t listen to your advice, despite how phenomenal it is! This month’s focus is on checking in with yourself and resetting your life goals. With the pandemic lasting longer than expected and life in general, it is entirely normal to adjust your life course. Today we are going to go through different tips for making sure you’re on track for who you want to be — tips I know I should be using too.

Check Core Values:

In her book, Buy Yourself the F*cking Lilies: And Other Rituals to Fix Your Life, from Someone Who’s Been There, Tara Schuster shares tips to get yourself back up from rock bottom. One of the methods she recommends in her book is to write down six values that you have in your life. From there, write down examples of how you live each one out in your daily life. Use these six values to determine your measures for whatever it is in your life that you are questioning. i.e., Is the major you are studying cohesive with what you want to do with your life? I am the person that always checks in with myself. My core values are loyalty, compassion, service to others, positivity, good humor, and a spirit of adventure. If I have a day where I struggle to find myself, I pick one core value to focus on using for the day. It is grounding to find comfort in actions that I am used to.

Developing Emotional Intelligence:

What I have learned from all of the self-help and self-improvement books I read during quarantine in the summer is that successful people are emotionally intelligent. Now, what does this mean? Being emotionally intelligent means having the skill set to understand, use, and manage your emotions in positive ways. By doing this, you can communicate more effectively, empathize with others, overcome challenges, and defuse conflict with less friction. Developing your emotional intelligence is like growing your social awareness by starting with yourself and enhancing your natural aptitude. It is a skill that can contribute to your overall success as an individual, teammate, leader, or whatever role you hold. Appreciate your strengths and weaknesses. Use peer feedback to find where you excel and where you could use more work. Seek out emotional blind spots and triggers to give yourself the best chance to do better in the future. Knowing how you are likely to respond in a particular situation can help you shift your emotional state and help keep stress from hindering you. Seeing things from another perspective can help you make a more conscious effort to handle situations.

Mindful Check-In:

Patti Holland from the Center for Mindfulness, University of Massachusetts Medical School, shares a mindfulness check-in. This activity’s benefits include understanding situations more clearly, choosing effective and contextually relevant solutions, and engaging with life in new and more satisfying ways. Seeing ourselves, others, and information more clearly and stepping out of habitual or reactive modes of activity can lead to a more fulfilling life.

Step one — Become aware of your experience right now. One way of achieving this is by doing a body scan. Start from the tips of your toes to the top of your head. Flex every muscle you can along the way. Ask yourself what you are feeling and what your body needs. Take the time to be conscious of what emotions are flowing through you.

Step two — Narrow your attention to the breath. Sitting down is best for this step. Breathe in and out, focusing on the feel of your abdomen expanding and releasing. Allow each breath to anchor yourself to what is happening in the present.

Step three — Expand your awareness. Go into a sensory mindset. What can you feel? How is the environment around you, affecting you? Start small and expand out.

Journal:

Regardless of if you are a good writer or not, journaling can be beneficial to anyone who tries it. You get out what you put into it. Journaling evokes mindfulness and helps writers remain present. It can assist with finding and keeping perspective and be cathartic for regulating emotions. Journaling can act as a catalyst for developing confidence and self-identity.

Here are some self-discovery questions to think about in your writing:

Self

- What scares me, and how can I overcome it?

- Am I making time for my social life?

- What is something I find inspiring?

- When is the last time I gave back to others?

Family

- What’s a recent experience I had with my family that brought me joy?

- If I had unlimited time with my family, what would we do?

- If I had unlimited money with my family, what would we do?

- Are there certain family members that drain my energy?

Work

- What are the positives about my job?

- What tasks am I putting off?

- What is making me feel down at work?

- What is my work mantra?

Love

- How am I feeling in my relationship?

- What do I crave from my partner?

- What makes me happiest about my partner?

- What am I thankful for about my partner?

In conclusion, having a check-in with yourself can benefit you as a whole. It can provide a new sense of motivation and urgency for your life. It can reassure you that you are headed in the right direction or help you find a new path. It is essential that you take the time to take care of yourself. In doing so, you enable yourself to be the best version of yourself. I wish you luck on your self-care journey and hope you find everything you are looking for in yourself. Remember that you are important, you are valued, and you deserve the world. Act like it,

Until next time — Katie :)

We are committed to advancing the overall health and wellbeing of the students at Marquette University through comprehensive wellness services and programming.

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